The Malta Independent 20 November 2017, Monday

Murder most heinous

Thursday, 19 October 2017, 10:04 Last update: about 1 month ago

The assassination of Malta's most known journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia has shocked all Malta. The shock waves have now raised a firestorm all over the world.

For us at Standard Publications, where Daphne has been contributing since 1995, after working as an associate editor at the beginning of The Malta Independent in 1992, the news has been devastating. We did not just lose a colleague, and in the most tragic of circumstances, we lost a friend, a person who incarnated the independence of spirit that we at Standard Publications aim to uphold.

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We shall miss her enormously, her two columns a week she contributed, the glossy magazines she produced, and her spirit generally. She has left a vacuum that will be impossible to fill.

It is clear by now that she was killed because of her writings, her investigations and it is somewhere in these millions of words that the key to her killing must be found.

The forensic people, helped by experts from The Netherlands and the US, are poring over the physical details of the remains. May they find important details there. But the clue lies in her words and in her investigations.

In the aftermath of the killing, many in Malta thought and remembered her diatribes in the Maltese political scene, for a long time highly critical of the Labour Party especially, but not exclusively, under Joseph Muscat, but also more recently against the new leader of the Nationalist Party, Adrian Delia.

She was also virulently critical of Dom Mintoff and of Alfred Sant, past leaders of the Labour Party.

It is true that we have unfortunately had our political tragedies over the past years - the killing of Karin Grech in the 1970s and the killing of Raymond Caruana in the 1980s.

In recent years we have had a spate of bombs killing or maiming people all over the island. Those were generally in what we may call the criminal underground of Malta.

In this case the victim was from outside this underground, a journalist who had the temerity to investigate what is going on behind the placid appearance of a holiday island.

But in recent hours the international media have been coming up with their own different scenarios. In general they point at the various criminal international links that seem to have established Malta as a general entrepot of crime in the Mediterranean - from money laundering involving Azeri money to Sicilian mafia linking up with Libyan war lords. Probably more links will surface in the days to come.

The outcome may give the world an image of Malta we would not like to have.

So it will not be enough to discover who planned and who set up the bomb that killed Daphne, assuming this will happen.

So much filth, criminal link-ups, huge money sloshing around, is being uncovered that a huge cleaning up operation is called for on a national and also international level. We, that is, all Maltese, regardless of their political views, must come together to clean up the name of our country.

Daphne deserves no less. We must rise up against whoever tries to distract us by planting false trails on our way. 


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