New York prosecutor Robert Morgenthau said, “If you want people to have confidence in their government, you've got to show that people who have economic power or political power are not immune from prosecution.”
The Foundation has the interdependent purposes of using criminal law to force accountability and ensuring that it is enforced in Malta to deliver justice for Daphne and for her investigations.
Cases deriving from Daphne's assassination
Daphne was assassinated when a bomb that was placed under the seat of her car was remotely detonated. The fight for those who are culpable for her murder to be prosecuted and convicted is a fight for a functioning justice system.
As of June 2021, seven men have been accused of or admitted to complicity in Daphne's murder. One has been sentenced to fifteen years. He and another man are state witnesses. Three criminal cases are in process in Malta’s courts: the case against the alleged hitmen is expected to move into the trial phase in autumn; the case against the alleged mastermind and the case against the alleged bomb suppliers are at the compilation of evidence stage.
The case against the suspected hitmen
On 4 December 2017, ten men were arrested in Malta based on prima facie evidence that they played a part in the manufacture, delivery, placement and triggering of the bomb that was used to assassinate Daphne. All are Maltese nationals by birth.
Seven of the men who were arrested were released without charge and three, George Degiorgio, Alfred Degiorgio and Vincent Muscat, were arraigned and remanded in custody. They were finally indicted for murder and criminal conspiracy on 16 July 2019, almost two years after their arrest and arraignment.
All three of the accused men 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.
In February 2021, Vince Muscat pleaded guilty to the murder to Daphne Caruana Galizia and was sentenced to 15 years after reaching a plea bargain deal with prosecutors to provide information about the murder. Daphne's family responded to the guilty plea by expressing hope “that this step will begin to lead to full justice for Daphne Caruana Galizia.”
Among the 10 men arrested in December 2017 were Jamie Vella and Robert Agius. The two men were not charged with the involvement in the plot to kill Daphne Caruana Galizia in 2017, but in February 2021 both men were charged with supplying the bomb that killed Daphne Caruana Galizia. The case against the two men is currently at the compilation of evidence phase.
Daphne's family is party to the prosecution in the criminal case against three men accused of her murder. A separate case against Alfred Degiorgio, George Degiorgio and his girlfriend, Romanian national Anca Adelina Pop, on money laundering charges, is ongoing. Daphne's family are not party to this case.
In general, legal advice on aspects of criminal law is provided by Dr Jason Azzopardi MP. However, as the accused frequently claim breaches of their rights in a presumed effort to delay proceedings, a significant amount of legal work is done by Dr Therese Comodini Cachia MP and Dr Eve Borg Costanzi. All three lawyers represent Daphne's family in court.
A report that Maltese criminal investigators had “identified masterminds” was incorrect. While other people who played a role in plot have been identified, and those people have inexplicably not been questioned or charged by Malta's police, they are suspected of being middlemen and not masterminds.
Court hearings of the compilation of evidence against the three men accused of planting and triggering the bomb were monitored by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). As of August 2020, Justice for Journalists and The Shift publish a weekly round-up of the court cases related to the assassination.