IFJ calls for an independent investigation into the killing of reporter Daphne Caruana Galizia
7 December 2017
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has joined its affiliate, the Institute of Maltese Journalists (IMJ), in welcoming the charges against three suspects in the killing of investigative reporter Daphne Caruana Galizia, but has also highlighted the need for an impartial investigation into the evidence.
Caruana Galizia © Running Commentry
The reporter was killed on 16 October 2017 by a powerful car bomb in Bidnija town, near her family home. Her most recent significant investigations stemmed from the Panama Papers, a leak of documents from the archives of the offshore law firm Mossack Fonseca.
Following the arrest of at least 10 suspects on Monday 4 December, brothers George and Alfred Degiorgio, together with Vincent Muscat, were charged with the criminal use of explosives, being involved in organised crime and criminal conspiracy during a hearing which took place on 5 December. Police told the media that an unspecified number of other suspects who were arrested would be released on bail.
Reports added that there were no new details about how the three suspects might be connected to the crime or the evidence that has been collected against them.
The journalist’s family has filed a legal claim against Malta’s police force and alleged that the investigation had not been independent or impartial, because of connections between a senior police investigator and a government minister. Both were subjects of Caruana Galizia’s blog.
Anthony Bellanger, IFJ general secretary, said:
“Although we join our affiliate in welcoming the recent arrests and charges against these suspects, following the claims of Daphne’s family we urge for an independent and impartial investigation… A proper fair trial would be the best tribute to honour her memory and her legacy following all the years as an investigative journalist in Malta.”
In a statement, the IMJ welcomed the recent developments and showed appreciation for the work done over the past weeks by the Maltese authorities with the support of foreign experts, but has also called on the government to consider tougher penalties against a person convicted of a crime, assault, threats and/or intimidation against journalists, in order to avoid impunity.
IMJ urges prudence and waits for the compilation of the evidence which is expected to commence in the coming days.