Who was Daphne Caruana Galizia?

Violet Powell
October 17, 2017

Daphne Caruana Galizia, 53, died on Monday when a powerful explosive device blew up her auto, police said.

In the final entry on her blog, posted about an hour before she was killed, Caruana Galizia reiterated an allegation that Muscat's chief of staff, Keith Schembri, was a "crook" who used his government influence to enrich himself.

Caruana Galizia, 53, had just driven away from her home in Mosta, near the capital Valletta, when the bomb obliterated her Peugeot 108 and sent her body flying over a wall and into a field.

PM Joseph Muscat, whom Caruana Galizia accused of wrongdoing earlier this year, condemned the "barbaric attack".

"I will not rest until I see justice done in this case".

Malta is the European Union's smallest state and has a population of 400,000.

"Everyone knows Ms Caruana Galizia was a harsh critic of mine", Muscat at a hastily convened press conference, "both politically and personally, but nobody can justify this barbaric act in any way". Opposition leader Adrian Delia sued her over a series of stories linking him to a prostitution racket in London, and economy minister Chris Cardona claimed libel when she wrote that he visited a brothel while in Germany on government business.

Mr Muscat called early elections in June as a vote of confidence to counter Ms Galizia's allegations of corruption.

Recently, Caruana Galizia's outspoken blog had turned its fire on opposition politicians.

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A local TV station reported that the journalist had filed a police complaint this month about threats she had received. It gave no further information.

Monday evening's parliamentary session was scrapped, except for briefings about the bombing given by Mr Muscat and Mr Delia, who called the reporter's killing a "political murder".

"Caruana Galizia revealed the Panama Papers and was the government's strongest critic", he said, calling for a independent probe of her killing.

Mr Muscat said he had asked the U.S. government and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for help investigating the vehicle bombing.

European politicians expressed dismay at her death.

"A dark day for democracy", Manfred Weber, head of the conservative bloc in the European Parliament, wrote on Twitter.

Caruana Galizia's family has asked the Courts of Malta to have the magistrate assigned to conduct the inquiry into the journalist's death replaced.

In another entry previous year, she wrote: "Malta´s public life is afflicted with dangerously unstable men with no principles or scruples".

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