Investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, 53, died in an explosion shortly after she left her home in Bidnija, near Mosta, on Monday. She was known for her blog accusing top politicians of corruption and was named by Politico magazine as being one of the 28 Europeans who are “shaping, shaking and stirring” Europe.
Daphne Caruana Galizia was a harsh critic of the government and effectively triggered an early election earlier this year by publishing allegations linking Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to the Panama Papers scandal. Caruana Galizia’s popular blog had also targeted opposition politicians, calling the country’s political situation “desperate” in her final post. “There are crooks everywhere you look now. The situation is desperate,” she wrote in the blog published on her site just half an hour before an explosion tore into her car.
Ms Caruana Galizia had been sued for libel because of various articles she wrote on her blog Running Commentary, and she had filed a report with police two weeks ago that she was receiving threats.
Prime minister Joseph Muscat and opposition leader Adrian Delia – who had both been criticised on Galizia’s blog – both condemned the killing. “Everyone knows Caruana Galizia was a harsh critic of mine, both politically and personally, but nobody can justify this barbaric act in any way,” said Mr Muscat, who had been suing her over some of her allegations.
Mr Delia called her killing an attack on democracy and freedom of expression and demanded an independent inquiry.
In a statement Daphne Caruana Galizia’s son Matthew Caruana said he would never forget “running around the inferno in the field, trying to figure out a way to open the door…….This was no ordinary murder and it was not tragic. Tragic is someone being run over by a bus. When there is blood and fire all around you, that’s war.”
“This is what happens when the institutions of the state are incapacitated: the last person left standing is often a journalist.”he added.
The European Commission condemned the murder, calling her “a pioneer of investigative journalism in Malta”.