Malta shocked as car blast kills prominent journalist
20 October, 2017
A Maltese investigative journalist who exposed the island nation's links to offshore tax havens through the leaked Panama Papers was killed last Monday when a bomb exploded in her car, news wires reported. Daphne Caruana Galizia had just driven out of her home in Mosta, when the bomb went off, sending the vehicle's wreckage into a field.
The murdered journalist had written a twice-weekly column for The Malta Independent since 1996 and wrote a blog, “Running Commentary”. Two weeks ago she filed a police report saying she was receiving threats. PM Joseph Muscat assumed that Caruana Galizia was one of his harshest critics, on a political and personal level, but added that her death is a “barbaric attack on press freedom”.
One of the topics Caruana Galizia examined was the Maltese content in the Panama Papers leaked in 2016. She wrote that Muscat's wife, the country's energy minister and the government's chief-of-staff had offshore holdings in Panama to receive money from Azerbaijan. All of them had denounced the claims.
Caruana Galizia's son, Matthew, who is also an investigative reporter, blamed his mother's death on the “mafia state run by crooks”. “My mother was assassinated because she stood between the rule of law and those who sought to violate it, like many strong journalists,” he pointed out. The Commission also strongly condemned the murder and pointed out that “the right of journalists to investigate is at the heart of EU values and “needs to be guaranteed”.