Malta’s PM Resigns Over Cabinet Implication in Journalists Murder
Malta’s Prime Minister recently announced his resignation after the inquiry into a journalist’s murder two years ago led to members of his cabinet being implicated in the crime. Prime Minister Joseph Muscat made his announcement shortly after anti-government protests erupted with the news of his cabinet members allegedly being involved in the murder. They resigned from their posts after the allegations made headlines.
Accusations stem from one of Malta’s wealthiest businessmen, Yorgen Fenech, who was arrested on suspicions of hiring the men who murdered anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. He claims Muscat’s party members, particularly his chief-of-staff, were the architects behind the car bomb which killed Galizia. He’s asking for a presidential pardon in exchange for information on other political figures involved in the murder.
Galizia’s family released a statement on Muscat’s announcement, saying “His continued tenure as prime minister is intolerable to anyone who cares about justice.” The family went on to state his role in the investigation into Galizia’s assassination is unlawful and that they would use every legal remedy to ensure he has no future involvement into the investigation and criminal proceedings.
He had been accused of stalling the investigation to protect party members. He’ll resign as of January 2020.
Before her death, Galizia had written relentlessly about Fenech’s shady business dealings and other forms of corruption that allowed for Maltese politicians to receive kickbacks. These crimes were part of a wider spectrum of secret off-shore accounts, which were revealed through the publishing of what became known as the Panama Papers.
The Realist Woman’s take:
I remember hearing about Galizia’s death the day it was reported in the U.S. I was shocked and horrified. It sounded like something that would happen in a mob movie. I immediately thought that someone from her country and/or government had something to do with her murder and I didn’t think it was a far fetched belief.
Her death and the deaths of other female journalists in the years to come, really hit home that journalists are a threat to those in power. Many journalists today are attacked, jailed and yes, some even killed. Journalists are here to inform the public, challenge those in power, and connect the dots. Those in power are constantly working to threaten and silence journalists because ultimately, politicians can be brought down and power structures can change.
Malta’s Prime Minister would not be stepping down if his government had nothing to do with Galizia’s murder. After two years of investigations, the walls are starting to close in and he bolted. Maybe with him gone, Galizia’s family may be able to get the justice they’ve been seeking for her death.
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