Maltese State held responsible for death of Daphne Caruana Galizia

29 July 2021

The report of the Public Inquiry into the assassination of the renowned journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta on 16 October 2017 was published today. The inquiry, which began in December 2019, found that:

“[…] the State must bear responsibility for the assassination because it created an atmosphere of impunity generated from the highest levels in the heart of the administration within the Office of the Prime Minister that like an octopus spread to other entities, such as regulatory institutions and the police, leading to the collapse of the rule of law and, therefore, (a) the State and the entities that make it up did not recognise as they should have the real and immediate risks, including from the criminal intent of third parties, to Daphne Caruana Galizia’s life; and (b) failed to take measures within the scope of its powers which it was reasonably expected to take to avoid that risk.”

The Caruana Galizia family has issued the following statement:

“The inquiry’s findings confirm the conviction our family held from the moment Daphne was assassinated: that her assassination was a direct result of the collapse of the rule of law and the impunity that the State provided to the corrupt network she was reporting on. We hope that its findings will lead to the restoration of the rule of law in Malta, effective protection for journalists, and an end to the impunity that the corrupt officials Daphne investigated continue to enjoy. Daphne and her work will live on in ensuring that the recommendations of this Inquiry effect lasting change.”

The Maltese Government only agreed to establish the public inquiry, over two years after the assassination, under threat of legal proceedings from the family and in the face of international pressure.

The Inquiry’s findings intensify the pressure on Malta to enact wholesale reform in order to protect the lives of journalists and other critics of the abuse of state power.

The Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation has issued the following statement:

“This report is a landmark in the campaign to ensure that the Maltese State is held accountable for its positive obligation to protect journalists. We call on the Government to accept the recommendations of the Inquiry and to publish its plan of action without delay. This is a historic opportunity to ensure real change for the safety of journalists and to a process of national healing following the traumatic assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia on 16 October 2017.”

Watch a recording of the virtual press conference attended by members of the family: Malta held responsible for death of Daphne Caruana Galizia: her family’s response.