Malta called to probe journalist murder

Malta called to probe journalist murder

The family of the Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia are demanding a public inquiry nine months after her murder. 

The investigative reporter, who spent 30 years uncovering corruption in the tiny Mediterranean state, was killed by suspected contract killers in a car bomb near her home in Bidnija in October.

A €1-million reward had been offered for information on the death of the 53-year-old.

She had been reporting on Maltese financial scandals and is thought to have been studying the Panama Papers about offshore tax havens. The police investigation is continuing and there have been regular protests calling for a broader public inquiry.

Three Maltese men have been ordered to stand trial but investigators say they were working for someone, but no controlling figure has yet been identified.

Paul Caruana Galizia, Caruana Galizia’s son, said an inquiry was the only way to explain why his mother was killed on October 16 and whether anything could have been done to prevent it.

He told the BBC: “We’ve over the past nine months been trying to establish some sort of inquiry, that doesn’t just establish how our mother was killed and why in a very limited criminal culpability kind of way, but to have some sort of inquiry that establishes whether something, anything, could have been done to save our mother’s life, that can take evidence in a very public way and be open to public scrutiny.

“It’s really important in a deeply personal way because you feel like up until you can stop asking, ‘Could we have done anything differently?’, ‘Could the state have done anything differently?’, then you feel like you can’t grieve. 

“Until you have this open and public inquiry, the fact is there are a lot of journalists in Malta who are reporting now on a lot of the stories my mother was working on and I know that they feel vulnerable and they feel exposed.”

Caruana Galizia said if no inquiry was held, the family would take the government to court in Malta and then to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg if necessary. 

“I would like to think we all have this shared interest in opening up the problem and asking this really crucial question,” the son said. “I hope that now the government will say, we see this request, we recognise it’s important and, yes, we will have an interest in uncovering what really happened and in asking this crucial question, ‘could my mother’s life have been saved?’”

Caruana Galizia said his mother was threatened and intimidated for years. “That fact is that my mother, especially in the past five years, was reporting on really serious corruption and we ended up in this very difficult situation where people she investigated ended up investigating her own murder and that makes things very difficult,” he added.

Malta said it would consider the request and would act accordingly.

 

 

Flowers after Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder. It has exposed the Maltese establishment to intense scrutiny. Picture credit: Wikimedia

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