Corruption and money-laundering scandals are back in the limelight in Malta, following the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia on October 16.
She was the first to reveal the Maltese names in the so-called Panama Papers – the 11.5m documents leaked last year that revealed how wealth was hidden and laundered across the world.
As reported by Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster, Caruana Galizia wrote about offshore shell companies held in Panama and elsewhere by members of Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat‘s government – as well as his wife.
Many of the accusations in her widely read blog, whose last post was published less than an hour before her death, were repeated by her son Matthew Caruana Galizia in a Facebook post published the next day.
“It is of little comfort for the prime minister of this country to say that he will ‘not rest’ until the perpetrators are found,” he wrote. “First, he filled his office with crooks, then he filled the police with crooks and imbeciles, then he filled the courts with crooks and incompetents. If the institutions were already working, there would be no assassination to investigate – and my brothers and I would still have a mother.”
According to Molly Scott Cato, MEP of the British Green party, the information Caruana Galizia provided helped to set up the European Parliament’s committee.
“The level of corruption in Malta doesn’t come as a surprise to me,” said Cato. “But it’s obviously shocking that someone would be killed like this. Our absolute priority is that we need to have a full inquiry, and it needs to be seen to be independent, because, unfortunately, there is no longer much confidence in the ability of the Maltese authorities to conduct their investigations.”