Malta offers $1.18 million for leads on killing of reporter linked to Panama Papers

  • The Maltese government is fully committed to solving the murder: Statement

VALETTA – The government of Malta has offered an ‘unprecedented’ 1 million euro ($1.18 million) reward and full protection for anyone disclosing information about the one who killed investigative reporter linked to Panama Papers.

The government statement that came out on Saturday called the Oct 16 car bomb a ‘case of extraordinary importance’ that led to the killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia whose reporting on corruption targeted the prime minister and other top figures on the southern Mediterranean island.

It said, in an ‘unprecedented measure,’ it was offering the sum to ‘whomever comes forward with information leading to the identification of those responsible’ for her slaying.

“The government is fully committed to solving the murder … (and) bringing those responsible to justice,” the statement added.

Galizia who played a key role in exposing her country’s links to the shady world of offshore banking was killed in a car bomb attack on Monday when she was driving near her home on the island of Malta.

Caruana Galizia’s blog, ‘Running Commentary’, was one the most widely read websites on Malta and led the investigation of corruption allegations stemming from revelations in the so-called Panama Papers leak.

Her reports often centred on a scheme that reportedly saw those close to Prime Minister Joseph Muscat receive money from the ruling family of Azerbaijan.

Galizia’s husband and her three sons including Matthew, who is an investigative journalist himself didn’t immediately comment on the government’s move but earlier in the week, the family said Prime Minister Joseph Muscat had asked for their ‘endorsement’ for offering a reward.

‘This is how he can get it: show political responsibility and resign … for failing to uphold our fundamental freedoms’ to the point where their mother ‘no longer felt safe walking down the street’ they replied.

The offer by Maltese government is believed to be the first one in a murder case. In the last 10 years, there have been 15 Mafia-style bombings or similar attacks in Malta, and many of the crimes have gone unsolved.