Malta blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia killed in vehicle bomb attack

Pauline Gross
October 17, 2017

Daphne Caruana Galizia, 53, had just driven away from her home in Mosta, a large town on Malta's main island, when the bomb went off, sending the vehicle's wreckage spiraling over a wall and into a field, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said.

Muscat said her death resulted from a "barbaric attack" that also assaulted freedom of expression.

"Everyone knows that Caruana Galicia was a stern critic of politicians, as well as to me personally, but this barbaric act can not be justified", said Muscat.

Archbishop Charles Scicluna paid tribute to the journalist and said that the country had lost "one of the best investigative journalists in Malta".

The journalist revealed that Muscat's wife, Michelle, as well as Muscat's energy minister and the government's chief-of-staff, held companies in Panama by looking into the 2016 document leak. Both Muscat and his wife deny the allegations.

The slain journalist had been a regular columnist for The Malta Independent, writing twice weekly for the newspaper since 1996.

In the final entry on her blog, posted within an hour of her death, Caruana Galizia repeated an allegation that the chief of staff, Keith Schembri, was using his influence for self-enrichment.

A local TV station reported that the journalist had filed a police complaint this month about threats she had received.

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Opposition leader Adrian Delia said the blogger was the victim of a "political murder".

Ms Galizia's blog relentlessly highlighted cases of alleged corruption, often involving politicians from the Mediterranean island.

Caruana Galizia is survived by her husband and three sons.

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Caruana Galizia had enjoyed a successful career in journalism, working for several of the major titles in Malta.

The family said the magistrate, Consuelo Scerri Herrera, "in her personal capacity, had launched judicial procedures against (Caruana Galizia) regarding comments she had written". She uncovered that Delia had acted as a lawyer for a Maltese company in London that was involved in a prostitution ring more than a decade ago and remained a harsh critic after he won the PN leadership.

Her slaying drew swift denunciations in the tiny European Union nation. Her blogs were a thorn in the side of both the establishment and underworld figures that hold sway in Europe's smallest member state.

The crime has shocked Malta, which has a low crime rate.

Other reports by GizPress

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