A public inquiry into the assassination of Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia has concluded that the State is responsible and should have protected her.
The report was conducted following 93 sittings and 120 witness testimonies. Initially, the Maltese government refused to conduct an inquiry, claiming it wasn’t necessary.
Protests ensured, along with significant pressure from the bereaved family, civil society, media like The Shift News, European Parliament, the Council of Europe, and media freedom organizations like Reporters Without Borders, ECPMF, and the International Press Institute. Prime Minister Joseph Muscat was disgraced into resignation, and his replacement, Robert Abela took office as the inquiry was finally started.
The inquiry aimed not to establish guilt over the assassination itself, but rather to ascertain whether the state could have prevented the assassination.
The report found that all the evidence heard throughout the inquiry lead to a conviction that the assassination was linked to her investigative work. It also found that the state failed to recognize the real and immediate risks to her life and failed to protect her.
It also noted that a culture of impunity was created within the Maltese government. These tentacles of impunity then found their way into regulatory bodies, the police, and other areas, leading to a collapse in the rule of law.
It was obvious, the report said, that Caruana Galizia had information that could have ruined the plans of big business as well as government stability. Furthermore, her writing was substantially accurate, and even the police used her site as a source.
The Maltese government responded to this by launching a campaign of personal attacks, hate, verbal abuse, and judicial harassment.
Caruana Galizia was assassinated in October 2017 when a car bomb detonated in the vehicle she was driving, just meters from her house. To date, no one has been convicted of her murder.