Malta leader to resign over reporter's death

Nellie Chapman
December 3, 2019

Muscat's former chief of staff, Keith Schembri, was allegedly linked to the killing.

Protesters gathered near the parliament's entrance, some of whom were shouting "Prison!" and "Assassins!" but the PM was eventually able to leave via a secondary exit.

A picture of Daphne Caruana Galizia is seen next to flags of Matla during a demonstration demanding justice over the murder of the journalist, outside the Court of Justice, in Valletta Malta, December 1, 2019.

Malta's richest man, Yorgen Fenech, has been charged with complicity in the journalist's murder. The late reporter's son spoke to DW about the recent developments: "What is incredible is that the prime minister is still using his position, and even giving speeches in Parliament, behaving as though he is the defense lawyer of his chief of staff", Matthew Caruana Galizia said. He has pleaded not guilty, according to published reports. Therefore the situation whereby the Prime Minister and his Cabinet, which up till a few hours ago still had Keith Schembri as a member, also decided whether to grant or reject his offer to tell all, was "worrying", he said. "But it wasn't enough - and that's a lesson about the power of propaganda and how it sows doubt in people's minds, people who knew instinctively that my mother had been murdered by someone very powerful in government in this country, but who for two years were confused and were led to believe that it was low level criminals".

Evidence has emerged of the involvement of top government officials in the assassination.

Opponents say Joseph Muscat is too compromised to preside over the investigation into the murder of Ms Caruana Galizia, who, after exposing corruption and sleaze in a blog, was blown up by a vehicle bomb two years ago.

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Opposition lawmakers walked out of parliament in protest, hurling bundles of fake cash at the government benches as they left the chamber.

"Justice is being done", Muscat said, adding that besides three people being arrested soon after the bombing for carrying out the actual attack, now there is "someone accused of being the principal person behind this killing".

"The case showed that Malta's institutions work and everyone is equal before the law", he said. Schembri has said he is innocent of any wrongdoing.

The investigation into her murder has rocked the Mediterranean island, reaching the highest echelons of government. Schembri was questioned for two days by police following his resignation before being released without charge.

Caruana Galizia was killed by a auto bomb in October 2017, eight months after she blogged about the Panama Papers leak, alleging Dubai-based 17 Black Ltd. was linked to some top Maltese politicians.

Caruana Galizia was killed when a bomb exploded in her rental vehicle on 16 October 2017 outside her home in Bidnija.

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