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One year after Daphne Caruana's killing, impunity remains

15 October 2018

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 on the National Union of Journalists in the UK and Ireland (NUJ), and the International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ) deplore the lack of an 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 prominent investigative journalist who published a blog Running Commentary, one of the most widely read websites in Malta.

She had been targeted and sued many times for her writings in which she exposed 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.
Fifteen days before being murdered, Caruana had filed a police report saying she was being threatened.

In December 2017, the investigation into Daphne’s murder 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 journalists' federations denounced the ongoing failure 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 conducted 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 have urged the police to examining financial transactions that could help uncover vital evidence. They believe the Maltese government is corrupt and is indirectly responsible for her death.

Anthony Bellanger, IFJ general secretary, said:

"The 16 of October 2018 marks the sad anniversary of Daphne’s death. The IFJ honours the memory of a bold investigative journalist who dedicated her career to reveal and denounce corruption. We deplore the fact that the murder investigation is still at an impasse and we still do not know who was behind it. We demand justice for Daphne and her family and an independent and impartial public inquiry. There shall be no impunity for crimes against journalists"

Ricardo Gutiérrez, EFJ general secretary, said:

"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’s memory on the anniversary of her death, federations and unions encourage all journalists and allies to join the silent vigil organized by Daphne Caruana Galizia‘s family and friends in Brussels, on Tuesday 16 October at 12.00 in front of the Residence Palace - event details on Facebook.

Tags: , journalists killed, impunity, ifj, solidarity, brussels, malta