Fri | Nov 24, 2017

Car bomb kills reporter who covered country’s 'Panama Papers' link

Published:Tuesday | October 17, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Daphne Caruana Galizia

Car bomb kills reporter who covered country's

'Panama Papers' link

VALLETTA (AP):

A Maltese investigative journalist who exposed the island nation's links to offshore tax havens through the leaked Panama Papers was killed yesterday when a bomb exploded in her car, the prime minister said.

Daphne Caruana Galizia, 53, had just driven away from her home in Mosta, a large town on Malta's main island, when the bomb went off, sending the vehicle's wreckage spiralling over a wall and into a field, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said.

Caruana Galizia's death resulted from a "barbaric attack" that also amounted to an assault on freedom of expression, Muscat said. He described her as "one of my harshest critics, on a political and personal level" as he denounced her slaying.

One of the topics the veteran reporter examined was what the documents from the 2016 leak said about Malta. She wrote that Muscat's wife, the country's energy minister and the government's chief-of-staff, had offshore holdings in Panama to receive money from Azerbaijan.

Muscat and his wife, Michelle, denied they had companies in Panama.

Caruana Galizia filed a police report two weeks ago saying that she was receiving threats, law enforcement officials told Malta news outlets yesterday.

The slain journalist had been a regular columnist for The Malta Independent, writing twice weekly for the newspaper since 1996. She also wrote a blog called "Running Commentary," which was followed by in Malta.

A half-hour before she was killed, she posted to her web site an item about a libel claim the prime minister's chief of staff had brought against a former opposition over comments the latter made about corruption.