The investigation concluded that the Maltese government failed to recognize the risks to journalists’ lives and took reasonable measures to avoid these risks.
An independent investigation into the car bomb murder of Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia found that the state was responsible for her killing because it created a “culture of impunity.”
The 437-page report released by the investigation on Thursday stated that before Caruana Galizia’s death in October 2017, officials failed to adequately protect her from life threats.
Caruana Galizia was killed in a huge explosion while driving away from home.
Prosecutors believe that Yorgen Fenech, a senior businessman with close ties to senior government officials, planned the murder.
Fenech, who was awaiting trial because of his connection to the murder, denied all responsibility.
Three men suspected of detonating the bomb were arrested in December 2017. One of them has pleaded guilty as part of the plea agreement and is currently serving 15 years in prison. The other two are awaiting trial.
Self-identified intermediaries have become state witnesses and have been pardoned.
‘The rule of law collapses’
An investigation conducted by an incumbent judge and two retired judges found that the culture of impunity was created by the highest authority in the government at the time.
“The tentacles of impunity then spread to other regulatory agencies and the police, leading to the collapse of the rule of law,” the group’s report said, which was published by Prime Minister Robert Abella.
It stated that the state failed to take reasonable steps to avoid real and immediate risks to Caruana Galizia’s life.
The investigation committee stated that it was clear that the assassination was internally or directly connected to Caruana Galizia’s investigation.
Former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat resigned in January 2020 after Fenech was arrested. He has never been accused of any wrongdoing.
The media later revealed the close contacts between Fenech, the minister and senior police officers.
The judges called for immediate action to control and regulate the links between politicians and big companies.
Abella said in a tweet that the report requires “mature” and objective analysis. “Lessons must be learned, and reforms must continue with greater determination,” he said, but did not elaborate.
The investigation heard evidence provided by the police, government officials, the Caruana Galizia family, and journalists.