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Bomb kills reporter who covered Malta’s ‘Panama Papers’ link

Posted: October 17, 2017 at 3:34 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

A Maltese investigative journalist who exposed her island nation’s links to offshore tax havens through the leaked Panama Papers was killed Monday when a bomb exploded in her car, Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said.

Daphne Caruana Galizia, 53, had just driven away from her home in Mosta, a town outside Malta’s capital of Valletta, when the bomb went off, sending the vehicle’s wreckage spiraling over a wall and into a field.

Muscat says Caruana Galizia’s death resulted from a “barbaric attack” that also amounted to an assault on freedom of expression. He described her as “was one of my harshest critics, on a political and personal level,” as he denounced her slaying.

Politico named Caruana Galizia as one of 28 Europeans who are “shaping, shaking and stirring” Europe. She revealed that Muscat’s wife, Michelle, as well as Muscat’s energy minister and the government’s chief-of-staff, held companies in Panama by looking into the 2016 document leak. Muscat and his wife deny they held such companies.

Opposition leader Adrian Delia called the killing a “political murder.”

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 the police two weeks ago that she was receiving threats.

Monday evening’s Parliament session was scrapped, except for briefings about the bombing scheduled to be given by Muscat and Delia, the opposition leader.

In June, Muscat was sworn in for a second term as prime minister following snap elections he had called to reinforce his government as the Panama Papers’ leak indicated his wife owned an offshore company. The couple denies wrongdoing.

The leak exposed the identities of the rich and powerful around the world with offshore holdings in Panama.

 

The wreckage of the car of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia lies next to a road in the town of Mosta, Malta, Monday, Oct. 16, 2017. Malta’s prime minister says a car bomb has killed an investigative journalist on the island nation. Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said the bomb that killed reporter Daphne Caruana Galizia exploded Monday afternoon as she left her home in a town outside Malta’s capital, Valetta.
The wreckage of the car of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia lies next to a road in the town of Mosta, Malta, Monday, Oct. 16, 2017. Malta’s prime minister says a car bomb has killed an investigative journalist on the island nation. Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said the bomb that killed reporter Daphne Caruana Galizia exploded Monday afternoon as she left her home in a town outside Malta’s capital, Valetta. 
Undated photo of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. A Maltese investigative journalist, who had exposed her island nation’s links with the so-called Panama Papers, was killed on Monday when a bomb destroyed her car as she was driving near her home, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said. Daphne Caruana Galizia, 53, had just driven away from her home in Mosta, a town outside Valletta, Malta’s capital, when the blast exploded Monday afternoon as she left her home in a town outside Malta’s capital, Valletta, when the blast occurred, sending the vehicle’s wreckage spiraling over a wall and into a field. 

Caruana Galizia’s family has asked the Courts of Malta to have the magistrate assigned to conduct the inquiry into the journalist’s death replaced.

The family said the magistrate, Consuelo Scerri Herrera, “in her personal capacity, had launched judicial procedures against (Caruana Galizia) regarding comments she had written.”

Caruana Galizia for many years was a harsh critic of Malta’s Labor party and government. More recently she had expanded her criticism to include the opposition Nationalist Party.

Her slaying drew swift denunciations in the tiny EU nation.

“Daphne played a vitally important role in unearthing serious allegations of money laundering and corruption in Malta, including those involving senior figures in the Maltese government,” said Sven Giegold, a Greens member in the European Parliament.

Italian newsweekly L’Espresso, which has also written about alleged corruption linked to Malta, said the reporter’s murder demonstrated that a well-documented expose’ “is perceived as a danger by the powerful and by organized crime.”

European Parliament President Antonio Tajani in a tweet called the development a “tragic example of a journalist who sacrificed her life to search for the truth.”

SOURCE: http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2017/Car-bomb-kills-Maltese-investigative-journalist-who-exposed-nation-s-links-to-leaked-Panama-Papers-document-leak/id-eec3f8b5b9274e7e8e7545136b809c94

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