Two brothers were sentenced to 40 years in prison each for the 2017 murder of Maltese anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, on the first day of their trial Friday (October 14) in Valletta.
George and Alfred Degiorgio were convicted of making, planting and detonating the bomb that killed the 53-year-old journalist in his car.
“Today’s judgment is another important step in bringing justice to the Caruana Galizia family”Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela immediately reacted on Twitter. “Three people have now been convicted for this murder and three others are awaiting trial. We remain committed to seeing justice done for the family and for Malta.”, added Robert Abela. A third man involved in this assassination, Vincent Muscat, had indeed been sentenced to 15 years in prison last year.
Responsibility of the Maltese State
On the other hand, the rich businessman suspected of having ordered the murder, Yorgen Fenech, has not yet been tried. He denies any involvement.
The death of Daphne Caruana Galizia in October 2017 caused a scandal in the country, notably leading to the resignation in January 2020 of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, accused of trying to cover up his friends and political allies splashed by this murder.
According to a public inquiry, the results of which were published in 2021, the Maltese state bears some responsibility for the murder of the journalist, in particular for having created a “climate of impunity” for those who wanted to silence her. The journalist was killed near her home just hours after posting this message: “There are corrupt people everywhere. The situation is desperate”.
The Reporters Without Borders association present at the trial
In a press release published by his services, Robert Abela promised that his “Government will continue to implement important reforms to strengthen the principles of the rule of law and democracy in Malta”.
Several representatives of associations for the defense of press freedom were present at the trial on Friday, in particular Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the European Center for Press and Media Freedom.