One of the three men accused of murdering Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia heard the sentence. He will spend 15 years in prison. Vincent Muscat pleaded guilty. Galizia died in 2017 after a car bomb went off. The journalist described cases of corruption among politicians and exposed scandals in this environment.
A court in Valletta sentenced Vincent Muscat, one of the three men charged with the murder of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, to 15 years’ imprisonment. The murder took place in October 2017. Galizia died as a result of a bomb explosion in her car in the northern part of the village of Bidnija Malta. The attack took place near the journalist’s house. Muscat previously pleaded guilty.
In the justification of the judgment, which was relatively mild for the Maltese criminal code, the court ruled that it had taken into account the fact that he had confessed to the murder, and that the defendant’s cooperation with the police and his decision not to appeal was also in favor of the defendant. The penalty of 15 years imprisonment is in line with the prosecutor’s office’s request.
Muscat and brothers Georg and Alfred Degiorgio were arrested in connection with the murder of a journalist in early December 2017, along with seven other suspects, who were released on bail. The three men were accused of, among other things, constructing a bomb that killed a journalist, possessing weapons and participating in a criminal organization. The accused initially did not plead guilty.
The journalist described corruption at the highest levels of government
Daphne Caruana Galizia, 53, exposed the darkest aspects of Maltese politics in a popular blog, focusing on corruption cases among local politicians and scandals. She attacked the former prime minister, Joseph Muscat (not related to Vincent Muscat) and also the head of the opposition, Adrian Delia. She wrote about Maltese gangsters and drug dealers, and also investigated the case Panama Papersthat exposed the connections between leading politicians and bogus companies.
Muscat resigned as Prime Minister in January 2020. The decision to resign was related to accusations suggesting that senior representatives of the Maltese government and its officials may have influenced the murder of the journalist.
Businessman arrested in connection with the murder of a journalist
At the end of November 2019, another person suspected of complicity in the murder was handed over to investigators. He is one of Malta’s leading businessmen Yorgen Fenech, director and co-owner of a group of companies that won a state tender in 2013 for the construction of a gas power plant.
After a few days, Fenech was released from custody on bail. He is currently awaiting trial and pleads not guilty. Last Saturday, he was officially indicted, and investigators accused him of initiating the murder.
Before her death, Galizio revealed the links between Fenech and top-level Maltese politicians in her blog. Previously, she conducted an investigation into the Panama Papers, which found that the Dubai company 17 Black had paid a two million euro bribe to Keith Schembri, the then chief of staff of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, and Konrad Mizzi, the minister of tourism. During the investigation, it turned out that the 17 Black company is owned by Fenech.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / DOMENIC AQUILINA