European Federation of Journalists

Malta: one year after Daphne Caruana Galizia’s killing, impunity remains

On 16 October 2017, Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was murdered by a car bomb in the town of Bidnija, near her family home. One year after, the International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) deplore the lack of independent public inquiry and the unwillingness of the Maltese government to take concrete action to end impunity around this crime.

Daphne Caruana Galizia was a 53 year-old prominent investigative journalist who kept a blog labelled Running Commentary, one of the most widely read websites in Malta.

The journalist had been targeted and sued many times for her writings in which she revealed several corruption scandals involving Maltese politicians. She was the first to break the news on Maltese politicians’ involvement in the Panama Papers, in April 2016.

She had filed a police report 15 days before her murder, saying she was being threatened.

The IFJ and EFJ and their affiliates have express their solidarity following killing by issuing statements or publishing solidarity pictures on they social media with the message #solidaritywithDaphne, demanding for swift investigation into her murder.

On December 2017, the investigation into Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder has resulted in the arrests of only a few suspects. Three of them, brothers George and Alfred Degiorgio, together with Vincent Muscat were charged with her murder. However,  the federations denounce the lack of willingness to identify the masterminds behind Caruana’s assassination.

The journalist’s family has filed a legal claim against Malta’s police force and alleged that the investigation had not been done independently nor impartially, because of connections between a senior police investigator and a government minister. Both were subjects of Caruana Galizia’s blog.

Her relatives also highlighted that police should rather examining financial transactions that could uncover vital evidence. To them Malta government is corrupted and is indirectly responsible on her death.

IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, said : “ Today 16 of October 2018 marks the sad anniversary of Daphne’s death. The IFJ  honours the memory of the bold investigative journalist who dedicated her career to reveal and denounce corruption. We deplores that murder investigation is still at stalemate as we still do not who was behind it. We demand justice for Daphne and her family and urge for an independent and impartial public inquiry. There shall be no impunity for crimes against journalists.”

EFJ General Secretary, Ricardo Gutiérrez, added: “In the past three years, 18 journalists have been murdered in the EU Member States and in the EU candidate countries. This situation of extreme gravity requires a strong reaction from States to better protect journalists. It also requires a fierce fight against impunity. We are waiting for concrete gestures, beyond the symbols.”

To honour Daphne memory on her death anniversary, the International Federation of Journalists and the European Federation of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) invites all journalists and supporters of the journalist to join the silent vigil organized by Daphne Caruana Galizia‘s family and friends in Brussels, on 16 October, at 12h00, in front of the Residence Palace (here Facebook event).

Picture credit: Matthew Mirabelli / AFP.