Thursday, October 28, 2021

Malta government responsible for murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia​, inquiry finds

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A public inquiry into the assassination of Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia has found that the state should be held responsible for her death. Galizia was 53 years old when she was killed by a car bomb in Malta in 2017.

The Maltese government “created an atmosphere of impunity, generated from the highest echelons of the administration,” a report published by the inquiry said. The report said the inquiry didn’t find proof of the government’s direct involvement in Galizia’s murder, but that it created a “favorable climate” for the journalist to be killed.

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Galizia, who was called a “one-woman Wikileaks,” had reported on allegations of money laundering, bribery and corruption in Malta for 30 years. She relentlessly pursued politicians in her home country on her blog, Running Commentary.

“She knew that the powerful people that she was writing about were closing in on her,” Galizia’s son Paul told 60 Minutes in 2018. “They were using every possible means to shut her down. She knew that, and that frightened her deeply.”

Galizia’s family had long called for an independent investigation into her killing, and a public inquiry began in 2019. Over the last two years, it heard from dozens of witnesses.

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“It’s been like one long day since we started hammering out Malta’s first public inquiry,” Paul said Thursday.

Only one of three individuals who have actually been charged with her murder has pleaded guilty. That person was sentenced to 15 years, while the others have yet to face trial, BBC News reported.

“The inquiry’s findings confirm the conviction our family held from the moment Daphne was assassinated: that her assassination was a direct result of the collapse of the rule of law and the impunity that the State provided to the corrupt network she was reporting on,” Galizia’s family said in a statement on Thursday.

“We hope that its findings will lead to the restoration of the rule of law in Malta, effective protection for journalists, and an end to the impunity that the corrupt officials Daphne investigated continue to enjoy. Daphne and her work will live on in ensuring that the recommendations of this Inquiry effect lasting change.”

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“Lessons must be drawn and the reforms must continue with greater resolve,” Malta’s prime minister, Robert Abela, said of the report, according to the BBC.

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