VALLETTA – Malta’s government is offering a €1 million ($1.18 million) reward and full protection for anyone with information on who killed an investigative reporter with a car bomb.
The government statement Saturday called the Oct. 16 car bomb slaying of Daphne Caruana Galizia, whose reporting on corruption targeted the prime minister and other top figures on the southern Mediterranean island, a “case of extraordinary importance.”
The government is offering the “unprecedented” reward to whoever comes forward with information leading to the identification of those responsible for the bombing, which stunned the tiny EU island nation.
Galizia, 53, was killed when the car she was driving exploded shortly after she left her home in Bidnija, near Mosta.
PM Joseph Muscat, whom Caruana Galizia accused of wrongdoing earlier this year, denounced the killing.
“I condemn without reservations this barbaric attack on a person and on the freedom of expression in our country,” he said in a televised statement. “Everyone knows Ms Caruana Galizia was a harsh critic of mine, both politically and personally, as she was for others too.”
But he stressed there could be “no justification… in any way” for such action. “I will not rest before justice is done.”
Caruana Galizia’s death comes four months after Mr. Muscat Labor party won an election he called early because of the blogger’s allegations linking him and his wife to the Panama Papers scandal.
The couple denied claims that they had used secret offshore bank accounts to hide payments from Azerbaijan’s ruling family.
Caruana Galizia’s popular blog had also targeted opposition politicians, calling the country’s political situation “desperate” in her final post.