Greece refuses Malta′s extradition request linked to Daphne Caruana Galizia murder | News | DW | 12.04.2018
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Greece refuses Malta's extradition request linked to Daphne Caruana Galizia murder

Maria Efimova was the whistleblower who reportedly helped Daphne Caruana Galizia's investigation into high-level corruption in Malta. Caruana Galizia was murdered in a car bombing in October 2017.

A Russian whistleblower who reportedly helped the murdered Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was set free on Thursday after a Greek court denied Malta's request for her extradition.

Judges in Athens said the charges against Maria Efimova, who had surrendured to Greek police in March, were vague.

Efimova was working at Malta's Pilatus Bank when she reportedly gave Caruana Galizia incriminating documents about Michelle Muscat, the wife of Malta's prime minister.

Read more: EU delegation to probe Malta corruption after murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia

The documents indicated Muscat had received €1 million ($1.2 million) in a Panama bank account from a company linked to Azerbaijan's ruling family.

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Malta: Death of a journalist

Caruana Galizia also cited Efimova as the source of documents that showed Michelle Muscat had owned a secret company in Panama.

Michelle and her husband, Joseph Muscat, have dismissed the allegations.

Read more: European Parliament names press room after assassinated Maltese journalist

European drama

Malta filed a European Arrest Warrant for Efimova after she fled the country with her family in June.

Malta cited Efimova's refusal to show up to court to face charges of providing fabricated evidence, making false claims against police and defrauding Pilatus Bank for the warrant.

A group of 36 European lawmakers signed a letter in March calling on Greece to refuse the extradition request.

Read more: Opinion: The EU cannot ignore corruption in Malta

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Thousands rally in Malta to honor slain reporter

Shocking death

Caruana Galizia was a prominent journalist investigating high-level corruption on the Mediterranean island when she was killed by a car bomb in October.

Her assassination shocked many EU politicians and raised questions about high-level corruption in Malta.

Police have charged three Maltese men with her murder, but have not yet named a motive.

amp/ng (dpa, AFP, AP, Reuters)

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