Monday, May 13, 2019
Free Press Unlimited, together with the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), is going to support the family of the murdered Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia with 50.000 euro for legal support. Over a year after the murder, the family is dealing with countless lawsuits that were filed against her.  

Murdered because of revelations

Investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed in Malta in a targeted car bombing in October 2017. She reported on corruption and the connections of politicians to the local mafia. Her investigations implicated some of Malta’s highest-ranking government officials in corruption, after the revelations from the Panama Papers. She also wrote about large-scale corruption with the sales of Maltese passports. Only some progress has been made in the fight for justice by the family.

Strategic lawsuits to silence journalists

Galizia's front door was set on fire and on a separate occasion the family’s pet dog was left on her doorstep with a slit throat. "Around the world we see an increase in silencing journalists by burdening them with legal costs until they abandon their criticism or opposition" says Free Press Unlimited director Ruth Kronenburg. Often it has nothing to do with the work of a journalist but its an effective way to make it impossible for the journalist to continue their work.

Even after her death, there are still 30 defamation cases pending against the family. Because these are civil cases, the family can be held accountable for damages if the court rules in favour of the complainants. Free Press Unlimited is contributing to the costs for the team of Maltese lawyers assisting the family. A legal expert from ECPMF will monitor the progress of the court cases.

Public investigation

We also support the family with legal costs for a public inquiry into whether her murder could have been prevented. Prime Minister Muscat has ruled out such an inquiry.

Partner

ECPMF offers legal assistance to journalists and whistleblowers in trouble with the law in Europe, and a refuge programme of Journalists in Residence fro those under extreme threat. Details here: www.ecpmf.eu/gethelp