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Malta demands justice for slain reporter

October 22, 2017

In a national outpouring of grief of shock, thousands took to the streets to commemorate anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Galizia was killed in a car bombing and the perpetrators remain unknown.

Image: Reuters/D. Zammit Lupi

Thousands of people packed the streets of Malta's capital Valletta on Sunday to demand action over the murder of journalist and anti-corruption blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Carrying banners reading "Journalists will not be reduced to silence" and "We are not afraid," protestors converged on City Gate to commemorate the 53-year-old, who has been described as a "one-woman Wikileaks" for her dogged reporting on political dirty dealing, including alleged financial corruption by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat's inner circle, using evidence in the Panama Papers.

Malta Bloggerin Daphne Caruana Galizia
Daphne Caruana Galizia wrote in April that Prime Minister Muscat's wife was the beneficiary of a secret company in PanamaImage: Reuters/Darrin Zammit Lupi

While Muscat has described Galizia as his "biggest adversary," he has noted that she went after his opposition rivals as well.

Galizia was killed in a car bombing last Monday, prompting shock and outrage across the island nation.

While a government statement on Saturday promised that "justice must be done, whatever the cost," for many demonstrators, it is the government who was at fault for the tragedy.

"The authorities have blood on their hands. We can't keep on living in a country like this," one protester told French news agency AFP. Another accused politicians of shedding "crocodile tears" over her death.

Maltese politics are a notoriously tangled affair – with the ruling Labour Party and the center-right Nationalists locked in a long-standing stalemate. Party allegiance is often a matter of family ties, and internal one-upmanship is said to be more important than respecting political institutions.

es/ng (AFP, Reuters)