Malta says $1.2 million bounty for journalist’s killer still on offer

The wreckage of the car of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia lies next to a road in the town of Mosta, Malta, Monday, Oct. 16, 2017. Malta's prime minister says a car bomb has killed an investigative journalist on the island nation. Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said the bomb that killed reporter Daphne Caruana Galizia exploded Monday afternoon as she left her home in a town outside Malta's capital, Valetta. (AP Photo/Rene Rossignaud) (Image Rene Rossignaud/AP)
The wreckage of the car of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia lies next to a road in the town of Mosta, Malta, Monday, Oct. 16, 2017. Malta's prime minister says a car bomb has killed an investigative journalist on the island nation. Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said the bomb that killed reporter Daphne Caruana Galizia exploded Monday afternoon as she left her home in a town outside Malta's capital, Valetta. (AP Photo/Rene Rossignaud) (Image Rene Rossignaud/AP)

Malta’s government says its one million-euro (1.2 million dollars) reward for information on who ordered the murder of the country’s most prominent journalist is still available, a year after her death.

Daphne Caruana Galizia, 53, who wrote an anti-corruption blog, was killed on October 16, 2017 by a car bomb.

Three people arrested in December were charged with the killing, which they have denied.

Police believe an as-yet-unidentified person ordered the attack that Justice Minister Owen Bonnici called “the biggest crime that has ever happened in Malta”.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, a frequent target of Caruana Galizia’s writings, offered the reward in 2017.

“The money would be paid for anything which can unlock the facts behind the murder. So I reiterate the offer, it is still there,” Bonnici told Reuters in an interview.

The minister defended the daily cleanup of a national memorial opposite Valletta’s law courts that has become a shrine to the journalist’s memory and a center of protest against alleged corruption.

“We have the rule of law in Malta. We have procedures. You cannot simply wake up in the morning and appropriate yourself of a national monument,” he said.

Bonnici added that he had asked the activists to apply for a permanent memorial to be set up.

He said the government had made strides to improve the freedom of journalists since the murder, including abolishing criminal libel.

However, he declined to criticise the fact that Caruana Galizia’s family continued to face civil defamation lawsuits for what the journalist wrote, saying those who had been defamed felt they had the right to seek redress.

Local and international media groups, including Reuters, began following up stories covered by Caruana Galizia in the wake of her death, in an initiative called the Daphne Project.

(Reuters/NAN)

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