Maltese Government Responsible for Journalist’s Murder, Inquiry Finds

An independent public inquiry in Malta into the murder of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia found that the state “has to bear responsibility” for creating a culture of impunity.

Although the 437-page report found no evidence that the state directly played a role in Caruana Galizia’s assassination, it said that the state is responsible due to “creating an atmosphere of impunity, generated from the highest levels in the heart of the administration… and, like an octopus, spread to other entities, like regulatory authorities and the police, leading to a collapse of the rule of law.”

Released on July 29 and conducted by a team of judges, the inquiry further said that the state “failed to recognize the real and immediate risks” to the life of Caruana Galizia, who had been critical of the government, and “failed to take reasonable steps to avoid them.”

According to the inquiry, Caruana Galizia’s assassination was linked to her investigative work against corruption in the government.

In a statement, Caruana Galizia’s family, who sought the inquiry, said that they hope the findings “will lead to the restoration of the rule of law in Malta, effective protection for journalists, and an end to the impunity that the corrupt officials Daphne investigated continue to enjoy.”

The report made recommendations to improve laws and to better protect journalists in Malta.

Prime Minister Robert Abela, who published the inquiry, said on Twitter that it “merits mature analysis beyond partisan arguments.”

“Lessons must be drawn and the reforms must continue with greater resolve,” Abela further said.

Caruana Galizia died in a car bomb attack near her home on Oct. 16, 2017. Her murder sparked  outrage across Europe and led to the resignation of former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat in 2019, following protests.

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