Daphne Caruana Galizia

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Daphne Caruana Galizia
Daphne caruana galizia.jpg
Born Daphne Anne Vella
(1964-08-26)26 August 1964
Sliema, Crown Colony of Malta
Died 16 October 2017(2017-10-16) (aged 53)
near Bidnija, l/o Mosta, Malta
Cause of death Car bomb
Residence Bidnija, Malta
Nationality Maltese
Alma mater University of Malta
Occupation Investigative journalist
Years active 1987–2017
Spouse(s) Peter Caruana Galizia (m. 1985)
Children 3
Website daphnecaruanagalizia.com

Daphne Anne Caruana Galizia (née Vella; 26 August 1964 – 16 October 2017) was a Maltese journalist, writer, and anti-corruption activist, who reported on political events in Malta. In particular, she focused on investigative reporting into government corruption, nepotism, patronage, allegations of money laundering,[1][2] links between Malta’s online gambling industry and organised crime,[3] the sale of passports, and payments from the government of Azerbaijan.

Caruana Galizia's national and international reputation was built on her regular reporting of misconduct by Maltese politicians and politically exposed persons.[4][5] For decades, she refused to give up on her reporting despite intimidation and threats, libels and other lawsuits. Caruana Galizia was arrested by the Malta Police Force on two occasions.[5][6]

Readers' main access to her investigations was through her personal blog Running Commentary, which she set up in 2008.[7] She was a regular columnist with The Sunday Times of Malta and later The Malta Independent. Her blog consisted of investigative reporting and commentary, some of which was regarded as personal attacks on individuals, leading to a series of legal battles. In 2016 and 2017, she revealed controversial and sensitive information along with allegations relating to a number of Maltese politicians and the Panama Papers scandal.[8] Allegations involving Prime Minister Joseph Muscat's wife triggered a snap general election in June 2017.[9]

On 16 October 2017, Caruana Galizia died in a car bomb attack close to her home,[10][11] attracting widespread local and international reactions.[12][13] In December 2017, three men were arrested in connection with her murder.[14]

Early life and education[edit]

Daphne Anne Vella was born on 26 August 1964 in Sliema, to Michael Alfred Vella and Rose Marie Vella (née Mamo).[15] She studied at St. Dorothy's convent in Mdina and St. Aloysius' College in Birkirkara. She attended the University of Malta as a mature student and graduated BA (Hons.) in archaeology in 1997.[16]

Caruana Galizia was politicised by her late teens, and was first arrested when she was 18 years old.[1] She was held in detention for 48 hours following her participation in a pro-democracy protest.[1] The policeman who arrested her went on to become the speaker of the Maltese parliament.[6] Caruana Galizia held a strong antipathy to the Maltese Labour Party, holding that Dom Mintoff's rule was a disaster for Malta.[17]

She married Peter Caruana Galizia in 1985 and they had three sons, Matthew, Andrew and Paul.[16] Matthew is a member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.[18] She lived in Bidnija, a hamlet in the limits of Mosta.[15]

Career[edit]

After deciding to become a journalist, she landed a job with The Sunday Times of Malta as a news reporter in 1987,[1] and she was a regular columnist from 1990 to 1992 and again from 1993 to 1996. She was an associate editor of The Malta Independent in 1992,[7] and remained a columnist with that newspaper and The Malta Independent on Sunday until her death. She also worked in media and public relations consultancy.[16] Caruana Galizia was also the editor of Taste and Flair, monthly lifestyle magazines which were distributed along with The Malta Independent on Sunday.[16] They were merged into a single magazine entitled Taste&Flair in July 2014,[19] and Caruana Galizia remained editor until her death.[20]

In 2008 she set up a blog entitled Running Commentary, which included investigative reporting and commentary on a number of people, some of which were labelled as personal attacks.[21] The blog was one of the most popular websites in Malta,[22] regularly attracting over 400,000 views - more than the combined circulation of the country's newspapers.[23]

Caruana Galizia was harassed relentlessly and intimidated for her work and opinions.[3] The front door of her house was set on fire in 1996. The family dog was killed, with its body laid across the doorstep. Years later, the neighbour’s car was burned, probably in a misdirected attack.[3] In 2006, two stacks of car tyres were placed, doused with petrol and set alight next to the family house. The fire was stopped before it took hold by Paul Caruana Galizia who woke his parents, who were asleep inside.[3]

According to Matthew Caruana Galizia, death threats were almost a daily occurrence. These took the form of phone calls, letters, notes pinned to the front door, text messages, emails, and comments on her blog.[3] Caruana Galizia's controversial blog posts also resulted in several protracted legal battles. By the time of her death, she was involved in legal proceedings with twelve persons,[24] in 42 different libel suits.[25] A legal fund was crowdfunded to cover four precautionary warrants - freezing her assets to the tune of €50,000 - for the maximum libel damages possible at law.[26] These were instituted by the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and Minister for the Economy, Chris Cardona, and his EU presidency policy officer, Joseph Gerada.[26]

In 2010, she criticised Magistrate Consuelo Scerri Herrera on her blog, who then opened a libel and defamation case against her.[27] The case was withdrawn in November 2011.[28] She was arrested on 8 March 2013 for breaking the political silence on the day before the 2013 general election, after she posted videos mocking Joseph Muscat. She was questioned by the police before being released after a few hours.[29][15] In November 2010, after commenting about the conservation of the former home of Queen Elizabeth II, Galizia was described by The Daily Telegraph as the leading commentator in Malta.[30] Other major stories and controversies centred around Panama Papers revelations and allegations that Chris Cardona had visited a brothel during an official government visit in Germany in January 2017.[5]

In 2016, Caruana Galizia questioned how British millionaire Paul Golding got rich and acquired Palazzo Nasciaro in Naxxar.[31]

From mid-2017 Caruana Galizia became a harsh critic of the new Nationalist opposition leader Adrian Delia,[22] over claims that he had acted as a lawyer for a company involved in a prostitution ring.[7]

Panama Papers[edit]

Caruana Galizia was the first person to learn of the Panamanian companies[32] before the Panama Papers leak of April 2016.[33] On 22 February, she hinted on Running Commentary that Konrad Mizzi had connections with Panama and New Zealand. This compelled the minister to reveal the existence of Rotorua Trust, a New Zealand-registered family trust, two days later. On 25 February, Caruana Galizia revealed that Keith Schembri also owned a trust in New Zealand which in turn held a Panama company.[34]

The April 2016 leak confirmed that Mizzi owned the Panama company Hearnville Inc, and that Mizzi and Schembri had also opened another company, Tillgate Inc. The companies were also owned by the Orion Trust New Zealand Limited, which are the same trustees of Mizzi and Schembri's New Zealand trusts, Rotorua and Haast respectively.[33]

As the first person to break news of Mizzi's and Schembri's involvement in Panama,[22] she was subsequently named by Politico as one of "28 people who are shaping, shaking and stirring Europe."[35] Politico described her as a "one-woman WikiLeaks, crusading against untransparency and corruption in Malta."[36]

In 2017, she alleged that Egrant, another Panama company, was owned by Michelle Muscat, the wife of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. These allegations resulted in Muscat calling the June 2017 general elections, which saw Muscat's Labour Party remaining in government.[22]

Death[edit]

The site of the explosion was at the top of Bidnija Road, limits of Mosta (upper right-hand corner).

At around 3 pm on 16 October 2017, Daphne Caruana Galizia died in a car bomb attack on her rented Peugeot 108, while she was driving close to her home in Bidnija.[37] The large explosion left the vehicle scattered in several pieces across nearby fields. She was in the driver's seat at the time. Her remains were found by her son Matthew, 80 meters away from the blast site,[18] after he heard a blast from their family home.[38] He wrote on Facebook: “I looked down and there were my mother’s body parts all around me”.[18] Her death marks the sixth car-bombing in Malta since the beginning of 2016, and the fourth fatality.[39]

Caruana Galizia had reportedly filed a police report saying that she was being threatened about two weeks before her death.[40] Barring during elections, her home had not been under police guard since 2010.[18] Her protection was further relaxed at her own request after the Labour party was returned to power in 2013 as she did not trust the police under Muscat's government.[41]

The perpetrator is currently unknown.[42] Her last blog post before leaving in her car read, “There are crooks everywhere you look now. The situation is desperate.”[43]

Reactions[edit]

Flowers, candles and tributes to Daphne Caruana Galizia left at the foot of the Great Siege Monument, opposite the Law Courts in Valletta.

Her family lambasted the Maltese authorities for doing nothing against a growing "culture of impunity" in Malta, saying that Joseph Muscat, Keith Schembri, Chris Cardona, Konrad Mizzi, Attorney General Peter Grech and a long list of police commissioners who took no action, were complicit in her death.[39] Her family refused to endorse the setting up of a government reward for information, despite pressure from the Prime Minister and President, and insisted that the Prime Minister ought to resign.[44] One of Caruana Galizia's sisters insisted that "the President and the Prime Minister are “downplaying” the assassination and “working to transform her into a martyr for their cause,” indicating that calls for national unity were a sham, and that to "call for unity is to abuse her legacy. There should never be unity with the criminal and the corrupt."[45]

The car bomb attack was condemned by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, who stated that he "will not rest before justice is done" despite her criticism of him. President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, Archbishop Charles Scicluna and a number of politicians also expressed their condolences or condemned the murder.[40] Opposition leader Adrian Delia called her death "the collapse of democracy and freedom of expression"[46] and stated that "[the country's] institutions have let us down".[47] Fellow blogger Manuel Delia, a former PN official, called her "the only ethical voice left. She was the only one talking about right and wrong."[11] The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker and the European Commission condemned the attack in the strongest terms possible.[48] The President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani called the death a "tragic example of a journalist who sacrificed her life to seek out the truth."[46] Gerard Ryle, director of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, stated that the organization is "shocked" by Caruana Galizia's death and "is deeply concerned about freedom of the press in Malta."[49]

A plenary session of the European Parliament was held on 24 October, with MEPs observing a minute’s silence. Several members of Caruana Galizia’s family attended the session at the hemicycle in Strasbourg. The press room at the European parliament building was renamed in her honour. A debate on freedom of the press and the protection of journalists in Malta also took place.[50] Following this visit and the following debate, a delegation is to be sent by the European Parliament to investigate the rule of law, high-level cases of money laundering and corruption in Malta.[51]

In an unusual gesture, Pope Francis wrote a letter of condolences, saying he is praying for the journalist’s family and the Maltese people.[52]

The car bombing was reported in both local and international media. Caruana Galizia's name began trending worldwide on Twitter,[46] and a number of Maltese expressed their mourning by blacking out their Facebook profile pictures. The hashtag #JeSuisDaphne, echoing the term Je suis Charlie, trended locally.[53]

The Malta Independent wrote that “for many people, looking up her blog was the first thing they did each day, and the last thing too. Now there is just emptiness. A silence that speaks volumes.”[18] Both the daily and the weekly version of her column were published as blank pages in the days following her murder.[54]

Thousands of people attended a vigil in Caruana Galizia's hometown Sliema on the night of 16 October.[53] Another vigil was held at the Malta High Commission in London.[55] Students, ex-alumni, teachers, parents and members of the San Anton community held a peaceful vigil from City Gate to the Great Siege Monument in Valletta, in support of the Caruana Galizia family. The three Caruana Galizia siblings were all students of San Anton School.[56]

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange announced that he would pay a €20,000 reward "for information leading to the conviction of Caruana Galizia's killers."[57] A crowdfunding campaign was initiated with the aim of raising €1 million to be given as a reward for information that leads "to the successful prosecution of the assassin and the person or persons who ordered the assassination."[58] This was followed by a further state-sanctioned reward of €1 million.[59]

On 22 October 2017, the Civil Society Network organised a protest demanding justice in Valletta. Thousands of protesters demanded justice in the aftermath of the assassination and called for the immediate resignation of the Police Commissioner and the Attorney General.[60] A number of protesters who took part in the rally, also went on to the police headquarters in Floriana to call for the police commissioner’s resignation. After staging a sit-in protest in front of the main door, a banner with a photo of police chief Lawrence Cutajar accompanied with the words: “No change, no justice – irrizenja (resign) was placed on the headquarters' gate.”[61]

Investigation[edit]

Forensic teams and police investigators arrived at the crime scene soon after the explosions. The head of the magisterial inquiry was to be Magistrate Consuelo Scerri Herrera, who had fought a legal battle with Caruana Galizia in 2010–11. Caruana Galizia's family successfully challenged her role in the investigation citing no confidence in the magistrate. Scerri Herrera abstained from the investigation 17 hours later and was replaced by Magistrate Anthony Vella.[62]

Muscat stated that the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation was asked to help the police in investigating the car bomb attack.[47] A police forensic investigation team from the Netherlands also arrived to assist.[63] The investigators were also joined by three Europol officials.[64] On 4 December 2017, Muscat announced that ten individuals had been arrested in connection to the investigation.[65]

Funeral[edit]

Caruana Galizia's remains were released for burial on 27 October 2017,[66] and a public funeral was held on 3 November 2017 at the Rotunda of Mosta.[67] The day was observed as a national day of mourning in Malta.[68] The funeral mass was conducted by Archbishop of Malta Charles Scicluna, who in his homily told journalists "never to grow weary in your mission to be the eyes, the ears, and the mouth of the people."[69]

President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Leader of the Opposition Adrian Delia did not attend the funeral as Caruana Galizia's family had expressed that they were not welcome.[70][71] Among the attendees of the funeral were: Silvio Camilleri, Chief Justice of Malta; Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament; Harlem Désir, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media; Eddie Fenech Adami, former President of Malta and former leader of the Nationalist Party; Lawrence Gonzi, former Prime Minister of Malta and former leader of the Nationalist Party; and Simon Busuttil, former leader of the Nationalist Party.[67][71][72]

Selected literature[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Daphne Caruana Galizia". The Times. 21 October 2017. Retrieved 21 October 2017. 
  2. ^ Henley, John (17 October 2017). "Murdered Panama Papers journalist's son attacks Malta's 'crooks'". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 20 October 2017. Retrieved 21 October 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Henley, John (19 October 2017). "Daphne Caruana Galizia: Establishment was out to get her, says family". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 20 October 2017. Retrieved 21 October 2017. 
  4. ^ Vella, Matthew (19 October 2017). "Execution of a controversial, bold and irreverent Maltese journalist". MaltaToday. Archived from the original on 19 October 2017. Retrieved 21 October 2017. 
  5. ^ a b c Leone Ganado, Phillip (17 October 2017). "Caruana Galizia: her biggest stories and the controversies". The Times of Malta. Archived from the original on 17 October 2017. Retrieved 21 October 2017. 
  6. ^ a b "Caruana Galizia fined in criminal libel case". The Times of Malta. 7 October 2010. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 21 October 2017. 
  7. ^ a b c Balzan, Saviour (18 October 2017). "When hell broke loose". MaltaToday. Archived from the original on 22 October 2017. Retrieved 21 October 2017. 
  8. ^ "Cronista uccisa da un'autobomba indagava sui soldi sporchi di Malta". La Repubblica. 17 October 2017. Retrieved 21 October 2017. 
  9. ^ Garside, Juliette (17 October 2017). "Malta car bomb kills Panama Papers journalist". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 20 October 2017. Retrieved 21 October 2017. 
  10. ^ "Daphne Caruana Galizia killed as vehicle blows up in Bidnija". The Malta Independent. 16 October 2017. Archived from the original on 16 October 2017. Retrieved 21 October 2017. 
  11. ^ a b "Murder in Paradise: A Car Bomb Kills A Crusading Journalist". The Economist. 21 October 2017. p. 52. 
  12. ^ "Death of 'journalist who exposed major corruption' echoes in all corners of the globe". The Malta Independent. 18 October 2017. Archived from the original on 22 October 2017. Retrieved 21 October 2017. 
  13. ^ "Top UK newspapers slam 'mafia state' Malta over Caruana Galizia murder". The Times of Malta. 18 October 2017. Archived from the original on 18 October 2017. Retrieved 21 October 2017. 
  14. ^ Jon Stone (6 December 2017). "Daphne Caruana Galizia murder: Three charged over killing of Maltese journalist who exposed Panama Papers corruption". The Independent. Retrieved 7 December 2017. 
  15. ^ a b c Caruana Galizia, Daphne (9 March 2013). "Arrested at 9.30pm for posting three videos mocking Joseph Muscat at 7.30pm: THE GOLDEN YEARS OF LABOUR+POLICE HELL". Running Commentary. Archived from the original on 3 February 2017. 
  16. ^ a b c d Schiavone, Michael J. (2009). Dictionary of Maltese Biographies Vol. 1 A-F. Pietà: Pubblikazzjonijiet Indipendenza. pp. 503–04. ISBN 9789993291329. 
  17. ^ Caruana Galizia, Daphne (20 August 2012). "GLORY, GLORY, ALLELLUIAH…". Running Commentary. Archived from the original on 24 October 2016. Retrieved 22 October 2017. 
  18. ^ a b c d e "The death of a crusading journalist rocks Malta". The Economist. 18 October 2017. Archived from the original on 19 October 2017. 
  19. ^ Caruana Galizia, Daphne, ed. (July 2014). "Editorial". Taste&Flair. No. 70. Bidnija: Proximus Publishing. p. 6. Archived from the original on 11 June 2016. 
  20. ^ Caruana, Claire (22 October 2017). "Daphne's last magazine to go ahead". Times of Malta. Archived from the original on 22 October 2017. 
  21. ^ Demicoli, Keith (16 October 2017). "Who was Daphne Caruana Galizia?". TVM. Archived from the original on 20 October 2017. 
  22. ^ a b c d Leone Ganado, Philip (16 October 2017). "Daphne Caruana Galizia... Malta's most controversial journalist". Times of Malta. Archived from the original on 17 October 2017. 
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  24. ^ Lindsay, David (22 October 2017). "Daphne's libel legacy: most plaintiffs still considering whether to proceed with cases". The Malta Independent. Archived from the original on 22 October 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017. 
  25. ^ Bonnici, Julian (21 October 2017). "Daphne Caruana Galizia's libel suits can still continue - lawyer Joseph Zammit Maempel". The Malta Independent. Archived from the original on 21 October 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017. 
  26. ^ a b "Caruana Galizia's accounts frozen as Cardona sues; 'terrible implications for press freedom'". The Malta Independent. 8 February 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017. 
  27. ^ Johnston, Waylon (12 February 2010). "Daphne Caruana Galizia expected to face charges of defamation". Times of Malta. Archived from the original on 22 April 2017. 
  28. ^ "Magistrate Scerri Herrera withdraws court case against Caruana Galizia". Times of Malta. 23 November 2011. Archived from the original on 22 April 2017. 
  29. ^ "Caruana Galizia questioned by police for breaching 'political silence'". Times of Malta. 8 March 2013. Archived from the original on 22 April 2017. 
  30. ^ "Row in Malta over Queen's crumbling former home". Daily Telegraph. 30 April 2015. Archived from the original on 15 November 2015. Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  31. ^ Caruana Galizia, Daphne (4 September 2016). "British millionaire author puts Naxxar house on the international market for €10 million". Running Commentary: Daphne Caruana Galizia's notebook. Archived from the original on 5 September 2016. 
  32. ^ Kapnistos, Peter Fotis (2017). Hitler's Doubles: Fully-Illustrated. Peter Fotis Kapnistos. p. 438. ISBN 9781496071460. 
  33. ^ a b Vella, Matthew (4 April 2016). "EXPLAINER – From Panamagate to Panama Papers". Malta Today. Archived from the original on 16 October 2017. 
  34. ^ Xuereb, Matthew (28 February 2016). "Konrad Mizzi has no regrets over acquisition of company in Panama; PM's chief also has Panama company, say reports". Times of Malta. Archived from the original on 16 October 2017. 
  35. ^ "Daphne Caruana Galizia named by 'Politico' as among 28 people 'shaping Europe'". The Malta Independent. 7 December 2016. Archived from the original on 22 April 2017. 
  36. ^ "Daphne Caruana Galizia". Politico. Archived from the original on 22 April 2017. 
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  44. ^ Sansone, Kurt (19 October 2017). "Caruana Galizia family refuse to endorse state reward for Daphne's murder". MaltaToday. Archived from the original on 19 October 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017. 
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  52. ^ Henley, Jon (20 October 2017). "Pope writes rare letter of condolence after murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 October 2017. 
  53. ^ a b "Thousands mourn Caruana Galizia at Sliema vigil". Times of Malta. 16 October 2017. Archived from the original on 16 October 2017. 
  54. ^ "TMIS, like TMI on Thursday, honours Daphne with empty page instead of her article". The Malta Independent. 22 October 2017. Archived from the original on 22 October 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017. 
  55. ^ "Velja f'Londra wara l-qtil ta' Daphne Caruana Galizia". NET News (in Maltese). 16 October 2017. Archived from the original on 16 October 2017. 
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  60. ^ "Thousands demand resignation of Police Commissioner, Attorney General". Times of Malta. 22 October 2017. Archived from the original on 23 October 2017. 
  61. ^ "Protesters sit down on road in front of police HQ to demand commissioner's resignation". The Malta Independent. 22 October 2017. Archived from the original on 23 October 2017. 
  62. ^ "Magistrate Scerri Herrera abstains from Caruana Galizia inquiry - Magistrate Anthony Vella to take over". Times of Malta. 17 October 2017. Retrieved 26 October 2017. 
  63. ^ Cocks, Paul (17 October 2017). "Dutch police assisting in Caruana Galizia murder investigation, FBI in Malta on Thursday". MaltaToday. Archived from the original on 17 October 2017. Retrieved 17 October 2017. 
  64. ^ Amaira, Ruth (26 October 2017). "Europol to help Maltese Police in their investigations into Daphne Caruana Galizia murder". TVM News. Retrieved 26 October 2017. 
  65. ^ "Malta arrests 10 over blogger murder". BBC News. 4 December 2017. Retrieved 4 December 2017. 
  66. ^ Demicoli, Keith (27 October 2017). "Daphne Caruana Galizia's remains released for burial". TVM News. Retrieved 29 October 2017. 
  67. ^ a b "Last farewell for Daphne Caruana Galizia". TVM News. 3 November 2017. Retrieved 3 November 2017. 
  68. ^ "National day of mourning on Friday to mark Caruana Galizia funeral". Times of Malta. 1 November 2017. Retrieved 3 November 2017. 
  69. ^ "Daphne's funeral: We need unshackled journalists – Archbishop Scicluna". The Malta Independent. 3 November 2017. Retrieved 3 November 2017. 
  70. ^ "Muscat, Coleiro Preca not welcome for Caruana Galizia's funeral". Times of Malta. 2 November 2017. Retrieved 3 November 2017. 
  71. ^ a b "Hundreds flock to Mosta to bid Daphne Caruana Galizia farewell". Times of Malta. 3 November 2017. Retrieved 3 November 2017. 
  72. ^ Bonnici, Julian (3 November 2017). "I want to know who Daphne's killers are, and who sent them – EP president Tajani". The Malta Independent. Retrieved 3 November 2017. 

External links[edit]