Justice

For Daphne, for her investigations and for journalists and journalism everywhere.

Police stand in front of a sign that reads 'justice' in Maltese, layed across the road to Bidnija, in Malta.
Police stand in front of a banner that reads 'justice' in Maltese, on the spot where the bomb used to assassinate Daphne was set off, as she drove away from her home. Photo by Miguela Xuereb.

Justice for Daphne means knowing who masterminded her assassination and having them brought to justice. This car bomb assassination involves triggermen, middlemen, masterminds and powerful people who expressed a wish or gave an order for Daphne to be assassinated. Every person in that chain of execution must be found and convicted.

Justice also means that Daphne’s stories are continued and the people involved in the crimes and scandals she wrote about are brought to justice for those crimes too.

Protest memorial

In one of Valletta's busiest streets, Republic Street, three bronze figures symbolising faith, fortitude and civilisation stand facing Malta's Courts of Justice.

The day of Daphne’s assassination, people began to lay flowers and messages at the foot of the monument. A few days later, children from San Anton School walked through Republic Street in her memory. The children, their parents and teachers left flowers, drawings and cards at the foot of the monument.

This marked the start of the monument as a site of protest. The monument, as an emblem of war and remembrance, has become a symbol of the new war wrought on Malta: the assassination of a journalist in a European democracy.

The case for a public inquiry

Our fight for a public inquiry is tracked on publicinquiry.mt.

Within days of Daphne's death, four United Nations experts issued a statement, urging “a prompt, thorough and independent public inquiry and investigation”.

Since then, no public inquiry has been started and grave concerns have been raised by numerous international bodies, including the Council of Europe and the European Parliament, regarding the progress and remit of the investigations underway, and the rule of law in Malta.

Legal support for our call for an independent public inquiry is graciously provided by Tony Murphy at Bhatt Murphy Solicitors.

Our solicitor's work on the call for a public inquiry, and that of the barristers he has instructed, is financially supported by a grant from Free Press Unlimited, which is in turn supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. The grant is independently administered by ECPMF, whose legal expert monitors the work that it funds and reports to FPU.

Our solicitor has instructed Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC, Jonathan Price and Jennifer Robinson at Doughty Street Chambers, and Dr Therese Commodini Cachia MP, to provide legal advice. We are grateful for all of their work.

Human rights cases

As Daphne's family we are involved, as applicants, in different human rights cases that arise from the criminal investigation into Daphne's assassination and the advocacy around it.

Our first legal action was taken within hours of her murder, to request that the magistrate who was immediately appointed to hold a criminal inquest into the murder recuse herself. Since then we've won Malta's first right-to-life judgement, confirmed on appeal, and we're now awaiting judgement on appeal in a historic freedom of expression case.

Legal support in these cases is provided by Dr Therese Commodini Cachia MP, Dr Eve Borg Costanzi at BCGL Advocates and Dr Jason Azzopardi MP. Their work was initially funded by us, Daphne's family, and is now funded by the Foundation.

Criminal cases

Daphne was assassinated when a bomb that was placed under the seat of her car was remotely detonated.

In December 2017, ten men were arrested in Malta based on evidence that they played a part in the manufacture, delivery, placement and triggering of the bomb that was used to assassinate Daphne. Three of them were finally indicted for murder in July 2019, almost two years after their arrest and arraignment.

All three of the accused have a history of low-level criminality and have no record of legitimate employment or legitimate economic activity within the past three decades. At no time were they the subjects of any of Daphne's investigations. It is not yet known how and by whom the bomb was manufactured and paid for, who delivered it to the accused, who paid them, who the intermediaries and masterminds were and who ordered the assassination.

Daphne's family is party to the prosecution of the three men accused of her murder. They are represented in court, alongside the prosecutor, by Dr Jason Azzopardi MP, Dr Therese Comodini Cachia MP and Dr Eve Borg Costanzi.

Vexatious libel suits

Daphne had once written that the claimants who were suing her for libel were doing so “as an intimidation strategy as they retreat under siege”. She was facing 48 libel suits by the time of her assassination. We, her family, have inherited and have been fighting all of them.

Those who filed defamation cases against Daphne include Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, his Chief of Staff Keith Schembri, and Opposition Leader Adrian Delia, as well as their associates and donors, such as Hani Hasan Naji Salah of Sadeen Education and Silvio Debono of DB Group.

Reporters Without Borders monitored hearings in 24 libel cases in a day in Malta in 2018, and saw that “nothing substantive happened” during these. They said that the cases were “a frustrating waste of time for all involved – and just a glimpse of what Daphne Caruana Galizia was facing at the time of her murder”.

Legal support in our defence against vexatious libel suits is provided by Dr Joseph Zammit Maempel at GVZH Advocates. His work is independently funded by the same grant from Free Press Unlimited that funds work on the public inquiry.