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12 Aug 2021

Malta: Public Inquiry finds murder of anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia linked to investigations involving big business

Investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, whose work focused on corruption and money-laundering amongst Maltese politicians and public officials including relating to the Panama Papers, was assassinated close to her home in Malta on 16 October 2017.

A Public Inquiry into the assassination was conducted by a board consisting of a former and current judges, to determine whether any wrongful action or omission by any State entity in Malta facilitated or failed to prevent the death.

On 29 July 2021, a Public Inquiry reported its conclusions, finding that the State failed in its duty to protect journalists and the right to freedom of expression. The report found that certain officials actively and directly acted in a way that prejudiced Caruana Galizia’s rights as a journalist and contributed to the risk she faced. The report found that her assassination was either intrinsically or directly linked to her investigative journalism, which included allegations of administrative irregularities or abuse in major development projects which involved elements of big business.

A statement by Caruana Galizia’s family said the report is a “landmark” and "historic opportunity to ensure real change for the safety of journalists", and called on the government to accept the recommendations in the report.