Murdered journalist’s son blasts ‘system of impunity’ in Malta

Peter Caruana Galizia and his son Matthew attend a vigil and protest on the first anniversary of the assassination of their wife and mother, anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, in a car bomb, in Valletta, Malta October 16, 2018
Peter Caruana Galizia and his son Matthew attend a vigil and protest on the first anniversary of the assassination of their wife and mother, anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, in a car bomb, in Valletta, Malta October 16, 2018

VALLETTA, Oct 30 — The son of Maltese anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia yesterday blasted a “system of impunity” he said was protecting those who ordered her death in a car bombing a year ago.

“We haven’t really gotten anywhere,” Matthew Caruana Galizia, himself a Pulitser-winning reporter for his investigative work, told AFP in an interview in Paris.

“Three people have been arrested, but they are the hitmen, they are right at the bottom. We don’t know who sent them, who paid them. There isn’t any justice whatsoever yet.”

Daphne, who died on October 16 last year aged 53, sought to expose scandals from petrol smuggling to money laundering, implicating members of the government and organised crime.

Her blog had also launched highly personal attacks on Maltese politicians.

Her son, who believes the murder was ordered by powerful figures, said it would “send a terrible lesson if only the people who pressed the button to detonate the bomb ended up in prison”.

Matthew was in the family home when the bomb went off in his mother’s car nearby, and he rushed outside to find her body obliterated by the blast.

“The people who ordered it and the people on whom my mother reported” must not escape justice, said Matthew, speaking on the sidelines of the Human Rights World Summit.

So far, he said, the subjects of his mother’s reporting have been “allowed to continue working in government or in business, as free as they were before”.

“The system of impunity that we have in Malta will only lead to more murders, both in Malta and within the EU,” he added.

Matthew complained that following the three arrests over the murder, “the government immediatly started saying, ‘case closed’.”

He said the family was pushing for a public inquiry, complaining: “We get the impression that there are places where the police simply do not want to go”.

“They want to remain focused on the petty criminal aspects of the murder. They don’t want to go into the highest level of organised crime that involve government,” he told AFP.

He called for Maltese Economy Minister Christian Cardona to be questioned over the case after reports that he may have had links to one of the killers.

Cardona denies any link to them.

Matthew won a Pulitser Prise last year for his work on the Panama Papers — millions of leaked documents exposing tax dodging using offshore companies. — AFP