Manhunt in Malta
In October, the car bomb assassination of Maltese journalist and blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia sent shock-waves through the investigative journalism community. Daphne was a continuous thorn in the side of the Maltese government as she reported extensively on government corruption and criminality.
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Galizia was a lead investigator involved in unearthing Maltese connections to the Panama Papers. Her fearless reporting implicated high ranking officials including the Prime Minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat. Galizia received multiple death threats leading to her murder in mid-October.
The Guardian is reporting that 3 men have been charged in relation to Galizia's execution style assassination.
The three suspects include two brothers, George and Alfred Degiorgio, and Vincent Muscat. The suspects were also charged with criminal use of explosives, being involved in organised crime, and criminal conspiracy.
All three pleaded not guilty to the charges at a hearing late on Tuesday.
Maltese police conducted dawn raids and arrested 10 men in connection to the investigation.
Previously, the Guardian reported that Galizia's family were not privy to information relating to the police investigation which includes the military and agents from the FBI.
Caruana Galizia’s son Matthew, who is also a reporter, told the Guardian his family were “in the dark” about the arrests and had been given no further information beyond a phone call from a magistrate’s office after the arrests were made public.
At a separate event, the island’s police commissioner, Lawrence Cutajar, refused to take any questions about the arrests, which have been called one of the biggest police operations in Maltese history.
Once the target of Galizia's tenacious reporting, Joseph Muscat is now actively pursuing justice in the case of Daphne's murder.
Joseph Muscat, Malta’s prime minister, promised in a press conference on Monday that he would not leave any stone unturned in finding who ordered the journalist to be killed and who carried out the attack.
Family Remains Unconvinced
Mathew Caruana Galizia, who is himself a journalist with the ICIJ, and younger brother Paul Caruana Galizia maintain that the individuals arrested and charged are simply low level conspirators.
Mathew Caruana Galizia on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mcaruanagalizia
Taking to twitter, nineteen year old Paul highlighted the amount of political enemies his mother had gained over the years by showing the number of defamation lawsuits that had been filed against her, spiking in 2017.
He also pointed to specific articles his mother had written about the PM and his chief of staff's passport scandal and kickbacks from Azerbaijani officials.
The Galizia family is pursuing a legal claim against the Maltese police claiming that the an independent and impartial investigation is not possible due to the connections between highest ranks of the police force and the government of Malta. The police force was also a subject of Daphne's highly popular blog.