Panama Papers journalist killed by car bomb

  • Sumo

The Panama Papers journalist killed by a bomb in her car signed off her last blog post with a warning which seems chilling in hindsight.
On the day she was killed, Daphne Caruana Galizia, 53, wrote: ‘There are crooks everywhere you look now. The situation is desperate.’
The fearless blogger died less than an hour later when a powerful explosive detonated in her Peugeot 108 on Monday afternoon. It blew her car into several pieces, and debris was found in a nearby field.
Two weeks before she died, she told police she had received threats.
‘Now what was many times foretold, threatened, wished for by people who despised her has finally happened,’ an editorial in The Malta Independent, a daily newspaper for which Caruana Galizia wrote twice weekly, said.
Her investigations into corruption and Malta’s dark underbelly saw her lead the investigation into her country for the Panama Papers leak into offshore bank accounts last April, and recently earned her the accolade of ‘one-woman Wikileaks’.

Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia poses outside the Libyan Embassy in Valletta April 6, 2011. Investigative journalist Caruana Galizia was killed after a powerful bomb blew up a car killing her in Bidnija, Malta, in October 16, 2017. Picture taken April 6, 2011. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

She took aim at the political establishment in Malta, which she believed had become a ‘mafia state’ rife with corruption, as the Guardian put it.
There were street protests after the Panama Papers leak, with a general election called in Malta over the scandal.
Maltese Chief of Staff Keith Schembri, named in Galizia’s last blog post, was accused by opposition politician Simon Busuttil of being linked to a scheme accepting kickbacks from wealthy Russians willing to pay for Maltese passports for the access to the EU they offered.
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Schembri has denied any wrongdoing and implied his offshore account links were related to legitimate business dealings before going into politics.
In a libel case about the allegations reported by the Maltese Independent, he said he never took kickbacks and ‘testified that while he left positions he held to become Chief of Staff, it did not mean he gave up his shareholdings.’
Galizia was a fearless reporter who took on injustice wherever she perceived it and there are fears that the bomb in her car was arranged by someone who feared what she could expose.
The Maltese Independent reports there have been 15 ‘Mafia-style’ assassinations in Malta in the last 10 years, including several other car bombs.
There is no indication yet who could have been responsible for Galizia’s death, but she made many enemies in the course of her career, with her political reporting just one example of how she was willing to take on powerful interests.

Source: www.metro.co.uk

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