Malta blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia killed in vehicle bomb attack

Cheryl Sanders
October 16, 2017

Daphne Caruana Galizia, one of Malta's best known investigative journalists, was killed after a powerful blast blew up her auto, local media reported Monday.

Daphne Caruana Galizia died on Monday afternoon when her auto, a Peugeot 108, was destroyed by a powerful explosive device which blew the vehicle into several pieces and threw the debris into a nearby field.

Galizia's blog posts about Malta's "cronyism" sometimes got 400,000 readers a day, which is more than all of Malta's newspapers combined, Politico reported.

At the beginning of June, Joseph Muscat had won a large victory in early parliamentary elections called following a series of scandals involving several of his relatives, in the revelation which Daphne Caruana Galizia had played a central role.

Galizia - who was named by POLITICO past year as one of 28 individuals who would have a major impact on Europe in 2017 - was regularly accused by the ruling Labour Party of writing fake news.

The couple denied claims that they had used secret offshore bank accounts to hide payments from Azerbaijan's ruling family.

In a statement issued in the aftermath of the explosion, Muscat called the incident "barbaric" and said it "goes against civilization and dignity".

"ICIJ condemns violence against journalists", the group said on Twitter.

"Everyone knows Ms Caruana Galizia was a harsh critic of mine, both politically and personally", he said.

"But nobody can justify this barbaric act in any way".

She subsequently published stories alleging that Muscat's wife, Michelle, received $1 million from the daughter of Azerbaijan's president through a company set up by the same law firm.

Daphne Caruana Galizia ran a popular blog that exposed high-level corruption, including those at the very top.

Caruana Galizia took aim at politicians and senior officials from across Malta, seeing the island as a hotbed of corruption.

She was also widely admired in Europe for her investigative reporting. "I will not rest until justice is done", he promised, calling the island to the union.

Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta said the country had lost a "brave voice", and that Galizia sought to speak the truth, according to The Times of Malta.

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