October 17, 2017 Last Updated 1:47 pm

Investigative journalist and blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia killed in car bombing in Malta

Caruana Galizia wrote of corruption in the island government, using information derived from the Panama Papers to accuse politicians, banks and the mafia of money laundering

This news did not make into the Morning Brief today, though it should have. That it didn’t was a sign that the news of the death of Daphne Caruana Galizia in a car bombing in Malta just wasn’t domestic enough, celebrity enough, to lead the major US news outlets.

Maltese investigative journalist and blogger Caruana Galizia was killed for her work uncovering corruption tied to foreign accounts in Panama, much of the corruption revealed through the Panama Papers. Those leaked documents were created by the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca and revealed the personal financial information of wealthy individuals and public officials, causing controversy in many capitols.

“Caruana Galizia’s most recent revelations pointed the finger at Malta’s prime minister, Joseph Muscat, and two of his closest aides, connecting offshore companies linked to the three men with the sale of Maltese passports and payments from the government of Azerbaijan,” wrote Jon Henley and Juliette Garside of The Guardian today.

“My mother was assassinated because she stood between the rule of law and those who sought to violate it, like many strong journalists,” wrote Matthew Caruana Galizia on his Facebook page. “But she was also targeted because she was the only person doing so. This is what happens when the institutions of the state are incapacitated: the last person left standing is often a journalist. Which makes her the first person left dead.”

“A culture of impunity has been allowed to flourish by the government in Malta. It is of little comfort for the Prime Minister of this country to say that he will “not rest” until the perpetrators are found, when he heads a government that encouraged that same impunity. 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.”

Update: The Guardian this afternoon posted an editorial on the murder.

“What is striking about Mrs Caruana Galizia’s reporting is how rotten the state of Malta appears,” the editorial states, then describes the problems plaguing the island nation.

“Malta cannot be a sham EU state where elections, the rule of law and the courts are just for show. The continent’s citizens accept EU governance because every member state is a functioning democracy. When one of its own backslides on democratic commitments, when a life is lost in the pursuit of truth, then the EU must take action,” the editorial concludes.

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