Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is appalled by yesterday’s car bomb murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, a Maltese journalist and blogger whose allegations about government corruption led to early elections last June. RSF calls for a full and independent investigation into her death.
Caruana Galizia was killed when a bomb placed under her car exploded as she drove away from her home in Bidnija, in the north of the island of Malta.
A specialist in investigating corruption, she had dedicated many blog posts to linking associates of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to offshore accounts exposed by the Panama Papers.
She also accused the prime minister’s wife, Michelle Muscat, of opening an account in Panama to receive bribes paid by Azerbaijan in exchange for permission for an Azeri bank to operate in Malta.
“We are outraged by Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder and offer our heartfelt condolences to her family and colleagues,” said Pauline Adès-Mével, the head of RSF’s EU-Balkans desk. “We had condemned previous attacks on this investigative journalist, whose bank accounts were also blocked as a result of her revelations.
“RSF urges the Maltese authorities to shed all possible light on her murder and to identify those responsible. This is dark day for Maltese democracy, freedom of expression and journalism.”
Caruana Galizia had reported receiving threats to the police just two weeks ago, according to Maltese media outlets that declined to give more detail.
Her English-language “Running Commentary” blog would often get more readers than all of the Maltese newspapers, for which she also occasionally wrote. Less than an hour before her death, this tireless whistleblower had posted yet another piece about alleged corruption involving a Maltese politician.
Malta is ranked 47th out of 180 countries in RSFs 2017 World Press Freedom Index.
Maltese journalists marched on 18 October in Valletta in protest against the murder