The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) expressed deep dismay after prominent blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed in a car bomb explosion as she left her home in Bidnija, Malta.
Police say Galizia died instantly after the car bomb attack around 15:00 today, 16 October. The explosion blew her vehicle into several pieces.
The blogger earlier had accused the island’s government of corruption, and she was previously investigating the connection between PM Joseph Muscat and his wife to the Panama Papers scandal. Muscat denounced her murder.
In March of this year, Silvio Debono, owner of real estate investment company DB Group, filed 19 libel cases against the blogger. Formerly, Galizia had published a number of articles about Debono’s alleged deals with Malta’s government for taking over high value public land in order to build a Hard Rock Hotel and two towers for sale.
Galizia filed a police report 15 days ago claiming she was being threatened.
“We were devastated to learn that in Malta, SEEMO’s newest member, such a horrific murder could take place. We call on authorities in the country to immediately allow a transparent look into the investigation of this death which they surely have already launched. It is distressing to know that investigative journalists and bloggers face actual risks to their lives and safety just because of their work. Truth should not cause death” Oliver Vujovic, SEEMO Secretary General said today.
SEEMO is a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South, East and Central Europe and its press freedom work is supported by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) project, as part of a grant by the European Commission. Malta will be from January 2018 SEEMO member state.