Three charged with Malta murder

Three charged with Malta murder

Three man have been charged with the murder of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
She died in a remote-controlled car bomb blast on October 16 in Malta.
She was a prominent investigative reporter and had a widely read blog exposing crime, corruption, drug-trafficking and scandals involving the country’s elite.
Vincent Muscat, 55, George Degiorgio, 54, and Alfred Degiorgio, 52, deny the murder charge.
The men were also charged with making the bomb, taking part in organised crime and possessing explosives.
The suspects attracted attention because of telephone intercepts, including from a mobile phone that allegedly triggered the bomb, the Times of Malta reported.
Seven other men have been released on bail amid ongoing investigations.
The probe has been aided by the FBI, Europol and the National Investigations Bureau of Finland.
The victim’s husband, Peter Caruana Galizia, attended the hearing in the capital Valletta and was seen trying to to take a picture of the accused in court but was stopped by the police.
Caruana Galizia’s family has filed a legal claim against the Maltese police and has alleged the investigation had not been independent or impartial, because of connections between a police investigator and a government minister. Both were mentioned in Caruana Galizia’s blog.
Vince Muscat was shot three times in the head in April 2014 in Msida and was accused of involvement in a failed HSBC robbery in 2010, including the attempted murder of a police officer.
Alfred Degiorgio’s fingerprints were associated with the theft from a cash van in 2000 and George Degiorgio was charged with possession of unlicensed firearms, drugs and tools which investigators alleged were meant to be used to pick locks.
The journalist’s most significant investigations sprung from the Panama Papers, a leak of data from the archives of the offshore law firm Mossack Fonseca.
Members of the European Parliament said there was a “perception of impunity” in Malta.
Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat promised in a press conference this week that he would work tirelessly to find who ordered the murder and who helped make it happen. Muscat regularly featured in Caruana Galizia’s blog.
The head of a parliamentary delegation, socialist MP Ana Gomes, said the bomb “was aimed at instilling fear in everyone, especially those involved in investigating and prosecuting cases of money laundering and corruption”.

The site of the bombing. Picture credit: Wikimedia

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