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Sunday 21 January 2018

Sons of murdered journalist call for Maltese leader's resignation

A vigil for Daphne Caruana Galizia outside the office of the prime minister in Malta (AP)
A vigil for Daphne Caruana Galizia outside the office of the prime minister in Malta (AP)

The sons of murdered investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia have called on the Maltese prime minister to resign.

In a Facebook post, they said Joseph Muscat should take political responsibility for "failing to uphold our fundamental freedoms".

Matthew, Andrew and Paul Caruana Galizia said they were not endorsing Mr Muscat's call for a reward to lead to their mother's assassins, adding: "We are not interested in justice without change.

"We are not interested in a criminal conviction, only for the people in government who stood to gain from our mother's murder to turn around and say that justice has been served."

Ms Caruana Galizia, a harsh critic of Mr Muscat who reported extensively on corruption on Malta, was killed by a car bomb on Monday.

Her sons wrote that identifying their mother's assassins is not enough. Corruption on the Mediterranean island nation also needs to be rooted out, they said.

Mr Muscat has denounced the assassination, and proposed a reward to find her killers.

On Thursday, 200 journalists held an event in support of Ms Caruana Galizia.

The Institute of Maltese Journalists has filed a court case seeking to ensure source confidentiality on all data lifted from her computers and mobile phones during the investigation.

Investigators are looking at similarities with five other car bombings in Malta over the last two years, none of which have been solved.

Former police commissioner John Rizzo told the Malta Independent it appears that mobile-detonated explosives were used in each of the six bombings since the start of 2016, which caused four deaths and two serious injuries.

The previous victims were all known to police, the paper said.

"Very few people could construct such a bomb. Instructions may be obtained online but building such a device would still require a certain degree of skill," Mr Rizzo said.

Investigators have not publicly identified which explosives were used in the journalist's murder, but experts say military grade explosives like Semtex are not available in Malta and would have to be brought in from abroad.

Mr Muscat defended the failure to solve the rash of car bombings as he left parliament on Wednesday evening. Including the last six, there have been more than 30 in the last 15 years on the island.

"I will continue to defend the institutions and I am a firm believer in the institutions," he said.


Press Association

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