Saturday, 17 November 2018

One year on, Panama Papers journalist’s murder still a mystery

MALTA: A year after a car bomb killed Maltese anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, those who ordered the murder remain free while others continuing her work in the EU’s smallest state are branded traitors.

The windswept field where the mother of three burnt-out car ended up on October 16, 2017, has become a monument to her life.

Supporters of free speech like Tania Attard come to this isolated spot to place flowers under a banner calling for justice, fluttering alongside a Maltese flag.

“If the person responsible for this is established, perhaps then we can rest and see that justice is done,” Attard told AFP.

“I’m sure they never realised that it would come this far, that it would turn into something so important and international.”

After her death an international consortium of journalists launched the Daphne Project, coordinated by Forbidden Stories, a Paris-based organisation dedicated to continuing the work of killed or imprisoned journalists.

“They just thought they would eliminate her and then feel better but I don’t think that is the result at all, I think that it has backfired on them,” said Attard.

But while journalists abroad can continue her work, those in Malta calling for justice say they are branded, traitors.

Caruana Galizia’s blog sought to expose scandals on the island of less than half-a-million people, from petrol smuggling to money laundering, offshore bank accounts to nepotism, implicating members of the government and organised crime.

It also launched highly personal attacks on Maltese politicians.

Journalist and blogger Manuel Delia said that he receives threats and insults in the street because of his work, including speaking to foreign journalists, just as Caruana Galizia did when she was alive.

“The more time passes the more we realise that democracy doesn’t really work well here, the rule of law does not prevail,” said Delia, who worked for years for the Nationalist party until it lost to Labour in 2013.

“Institutions are completely co-opted and possessed by the government, and the government is possessed by people who are motivated by their own power and personal profit.”

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