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Car bombing kills Malta journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia

Gazilia

The Committee to Protect Journalists called on authorities in Malta to swiftly ensure justice for Daphne Caruana Galizia, 53, a prominent writer and investigative journalist killed on October 16. The car that Caruana Galizia was driving exploded near to her house in Bidnija, in the north of the island.

Caruana Galizia, who reported on government corruption and the Panama Papers, told police two weeks ago that she had received death threats, according to Malta’s national broadcaster TVM. Her blog, Running Commentary, which included investigative reports and commentary on politicians, was one of the most widely read websites in Malta.

“Daphne Caruana Galizia investigated wrongdoing in Malta’s political, business and criminal worlds,” said Robert Mahoney, Deputy Executive Director of the Committee to Protect Journalists. “The investigation into her murder therefore must be thorough, credible and timely.”

A forensic expert was cited in local media as saying that preliminary investigations suggest that explosives were not placed inside the car, and that a remote control could have been used to set the bomb off. Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced that the FBI had agreed to assist local police in the investigation, according to Reuters.

Muscat condemned the attack, which he described as an “attack on press freedom”. The Prime Minister added in a statement, “Everyone knows Ms Caruana Galizia was a harsh critic of mine, both politically and personally but nobody can justify this barbaric act in any way.”

Caruana Galizia’s last blog, which was critical of the country’s opposition party, was posted a few minutes before she left her house. “There are crooks everywhere you look now. The situation is desperate,” she wrote. Less than an hour later, she was murdered in a car bomb attack.

[This article originally appeared on the CPJ website.]