Probably you’ve seen the news about the “blogger” murdered in Malta:
Daphne Caruana Galizia, Malta’s best-known investigative journalist, was killed on Oct. 17 when a powerful bomb blew up her car, police said, in a case that stunned the small Mediterranean island.
Caruana Galizia, 53, ran a hugely popular blog in which she relentlessly highlighted cases of alleged high-level corruption targeting politicians from across party lines. “There are crooks everywhere. The situation is desperate,” she wrote in a blog published on her site just half an hour before an explosion tore into her car.
Locals said Caruana Galizia had just left her house and was on a road near the village of Bidnija in northern Malta when the bomb detonated, sending her car flying into an adjacent field.
Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, who faced accusations of wrong-doing by Caruana Galizia earlier this year, denounced her killing, calling it a “barbaric attack on press freedom.”
He announced that the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had agreed to help local police investigate the killing and was flying experts to the island as soon as possible.
“I will not rest until I see justice done in this case,” he said in a statement, calling for national unity. [Yeah, sure!]
Around 3,000 people held a silent, candle-lit vigil yesterday evening in Sliema, just outside Valletta.
The hashtag Je Suis Daphne circulated widely among social media users on the island of 400,000 people, the European Union’s smallest state.
Malta is, of course, a member of the European Union (since 2004) and the British Commonwealth of Nations.
Recently, when the gnomes of Brussels announced plans to establish a new European public prosecutor’s office with powers to combat corruption and fraud involving EU funds, Malta was reported as refusing to sign up for it. Interestingly, that same news item mentioned in its final paragraph that Sweden and the Netherlands had expressed concerns about “losing sovereignty”. So I’m guessing those shining beacons of transparency and democracy are refusing to sign up too.
Britain’s Guardian of human rights and press freedom, in its coverage of Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder, had this to say:
She believed, in essence, that malign and criminal interests had captured Malta and turned it into an island mafia state; she reported on a political system rife with corruption, businesses seemingly used to launder money or pay bribes, and a criminal justice system that seemed incapable, or unwilling, to take on the controlling minds behind it all.
Probably her greatest achievement over the past year was to spark, more or less singlehandedly, an extraordinary political scandal that has embroiled the island’s prime minister, his closest political allies, and the ruling family of Azerbaijan.
Had this fiercely independent journalist finally got too close to something – or was she proving too much of an irritant to someone?
There is nothing to suggest any of this is linked to her murder.
WHAT!! ARE THOSE PEOPLE SERIOUS?
Two questions for folks at The Guardian: When was the last time a journalist was assassinated in Turkey for posing a threat to the government? And who was in power at the time?