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Malta and London mark six months since journalist’s murder

A woman places candles at a makeshift memorial to assassinated anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia during a vigil marking six months since her murder in a car bomb, in Valletta, Malta April 16, 2018. — AFP pic
A woman places candles at a makeshift memorial to assassinated anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia during a vigil marking six months since her murder in a car bomb, in Valletta, Malta April 16, 2018. — AFP pic

VALLETTA, April 17 — Campaigners in Malta and London yesterday marked the six-month anniversary of the murder of anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, as her sons accused the Maltese government of allowing “impunity” over the killing.

The Mediterranean island awoke to protest posters and banners, while supporters, including her two sons, held a vigil outside the Maltese High Commission in the British capital to demand accountability.

Caruana Galizia, 53, was assassinated by a car bomb on October 16 just down the road from her residence on the island.

The blogger had made repeated and detailed corruption allegations against Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and members of his inner circle, as well as the opposition.

“What we’re calling for is not just justice for the murder, but also justice for the crimes our mother was writing about,” Matthew Caruana Galizia, 32, told AFP on the sidelines of the protest.

“At the moment in Malta, we have double impunity — both for my mother’s murder and for all the corruption she was reporting on.

“We just cannot allow this to continue.”

Several dozen supporters, holding placards picturing Caruana Galizia alongside the hashtag #JusticeForDaphne, attended the vigil in central London.

They also held bay leaf branches — symbols of strength and courage on the island — and chanted “justice for Daphne, no impunity!”

‘Culture of impunity’

In Malta, spoof-film posters displayed outside parliament in the capital Valletta featured Muscat under titles such as “Crookfellas,” a play on the gangster flick “Goodfellas”, and “Lord of the Lies,” from the book “Lord of the Flies.”

“Daphne Caruana Galizia was assassinated while uncovering shocking corruption stories. Six months on, we still have no clue as to who commissioned the killing and not one single person has assumed political responsibility for her assassination,” said #OccupyJustice, the activist group behind the posters, in a statement.

“We are utterly disgusted at the way the government actively promotes a culture of impunity instead of aspiring to block it,” it added.

A separate activist group lined Valletta’s main roads with posters stating, “Il silenzio e Mafia” (Silence is Mafia).

Yesterday evening, the Archbishop of Malta Charles Scicluna led a mass in Valletta, followed by a vigil, in honour of the slain blogger.

“It’s easy to get caught up in a web of corruption” and “succumb to temptation”, Scicluna told the churchgoers. “But society must seek justice,” he added, citing Pope Francis.

Similar vigils were organised in London, Edinburgh, Washington, Berlin, Dresden and Amsterdam.

The investigation into the murder is ongoing. Three men charged with the killing have pleaded not guilty.

Matthew Caruana Galizia, flanked by his brother Paul in London, described the anniversary as like “a second funeral” and hit out at the Maltese government’s handling of the case “as a public relations campaign”.

“That’s all they’re concerned about — how this looks to the rest of the world, spinning their way out of it.” — AFP

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