Daphne Caruana Galizia was known for her blog investigating and exposing high-level politicians of corruption and became well known for the Panama Papers investigation corruption on the tiny island nation of Malta, in the Mediterranean. The 53 year old investigative journalist was killed when a bomb exploded under the car she was driving.
“It wasn’t the prime minister alone who created the conditions for my mother’s assassination. These and many other people are complicit.” Galizia’s son Matthew said on Facebook. He added that his mother was assassinated because she stood between the rule of law and those who sought to violate it, like many strong journalists.
Prime Minister of Malta Joseph Muscat, who was accused by Galizia of wrongdoing in her investigation into Panama Papers, denounced her killing and pledged to track down those responsible.
On Tuesday afternoon, several hundred people demonstrated in front of the law courts demanding justice for Caruana Galizia's killers.
Often called a One-women WikiLeaks, Galizia’s mantra was simple: blog relentlessly about the “cronyism that is accepted as something normal here. I can’t bear to see people like that rewarded.”
Galizia’s investigation into Panama Papers brought out many names in the government accused of corruption. These included two Maltese politicians: Keith Schembri, chief of staff to Muscat, and Konrad Mizzi, the country’s energy minister.
Probably her greatest achievement over the past year was to spark, more or less singlehandedly, an extraordinary political scandal that has embroiled the island’s prime minister, his closest political allies, and the ruling family of Azerbaijan. This forced Muscat to call for a general election in June.
The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative said in their statement, “The trends show shrinking space for freedom of expression amidst concerns about a climate of increased intolerance even in ‘democratic’ nations. Galizia was well-known for her fearless investigations into the Panama Papers, an issue which has embroiled many entities and individuals in South Asia and beyond.”
South Asia Media Defenders Network (SAMDEN), an association of professional journalists, editors and bloggers condemned the killing of Galizia and said that “Indeed, the news is relentlessly gloomy - week after week brings news of journalists abducted, jailed, prosecuted and killed.”
The authorities in Malta are waiting for the arrival of Dutch forensic experts and American FBI agents to help the investigations, who were asked to help by the Prime Minister.