Malta Journalist Behind Panama Papers Investigation Killed, US FBI To Investigate

| October 17 , 2017 , 15:14 IST

One of Malta's best-known investigative journalists Daphne Caruana Galiza, who led the investigation in the Panama Papers case was killed when a bomb blew up her car on Monday.

The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will be helping the local police in the investigations, Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said.

The 53-year-old investigative journalist Galizia had left her house and was driving on a road in northern Malta when a bomb in her car detonated, sending the car flying into an adjacent field, killing her.

Galizia ran an independent blog 'Running Commentary' where she revealed cases of alleged high-level corruption targeting politicians.

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"There are crooks everywhere you look now. The situation is desperate," Galizia wrote on the blog just half an hour before the blast took place.

Mourning the death of Galizia, around 3,000 people held a silent, candle-lit vigil on Tuesday and the hashtag 'Je Suis Daphne' was shared on social media in her honour.

Called as a 'one-woman WikiLeaks', earlier this year Galizia had accused the PM Muscat of 'wrong-doings' and he had sued the journalist.

In the wake of Galizia's death, PM Muscat released a statement denouncing her murder as a "barbaric attack on press freedom" and promised justice.

"Everyone knows Caruana Galizia was a harsh critic of mine, both politically and personally, but nobody can justify this barbaric act in any way. The only remedy for anyone who felt slandered was through the courts," The Malta Prime Minister said in a statement.

"I will not rest until I see justice done in this case," he said.

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Meanwhile, the Opposition leader in Malta, Adrian Delia denounced Galizia's death as a "political murder".

"Caruana Galizia revealed the Panama Papers and was the government's strongest critic," Delia said.

"We will not accept an investigation by the Commissioner of Police, the Army commander or the duty magistrate, all of whom were at the heart of criticism by Caruana Galizia," she added.

Julian Assange, the Wikileaks Founder, has offered a 20,000 euro (Rs 15,28,120) reward for information that would lead to the conviction of the killers of Galizia.