Two brothers sentenced to 40 years in prison for the murder of a journalist in Malta

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Two brothers sentenced to 40 years in prison for the murder of a journalist in Malta

Journalist interested in corruption, Daphne Caruana Galizia was murdered in 2017.

Two brothers were sentenced to 40 years in prison each on Friday in Valletta for the 2017 murder of Maltese anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

George and Alfred Degiorgio, who pleaded guilty on the first day of their trial, were convicted of making, planting and detonating the bomb that killed the 53-year-old journalist in her car.

Today's judgment is another important step in bringing justice to the Caruana Galizia family, Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela immediately reacted on Twitter.

The blogger's death on October 16, 2017 shook the European Union's smallest state and horrified its neighbors.

“Three people have now been convicted for this murder and three more are awaiting trial. We remain committed to seeing justice done for the family and for Malta.

— Robert Abela, Prime Minister of Malta

A third man implicated in this assassination, Vincent Muscat, had indeed been sentenced to 15 years in prison. last year.

On the other hand, the wealthy businessman suspected of having ordered the murder, Yorgen Fenech, who denies any involvement, did not been judged yet.

In Malta, where journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia's vehicle exploded. (Archives)

The death of Daphne Caruana Galizia caused a scandal in the country, notably leading to the resignation in January 2020 of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, accused of trying to cover up his friends and political allies splashed by this murder.

According to a public inquiry, the results of which were published in 2021, the Maltese state bears part of the responsibility for the murder of the journalist, in particular for having created a climate of impunity for those who wanted her silence.

The journalist, who denounced in her blog Running Commentary the endemic corruption in this small Mediterranean archipelago, was killed near her home just hours after posting this message: There are corrupt people everywhere. The situation is desperate.

In a statement issued by his office, Robert Abela promised that his government will continue to implement important reforms to reinforce the principles of x27;Rule of law and democracy in Malta, a former British colony admitted to the European Union in 2004.

Several representatives of press freedom defense associations were present at the trial on Friday, including Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the European Center for Press and Media Freedom.

In a statement, RSF welcomed the verdict, while stressing the need for all those involved in this assassination to be brought to justice.

“Too many cases of murdered journalists have gone unpunished, but when justice is served, it sends a clear signal that such violent crimes against journalists will not be tolerated. We will continue to follow all legal proceedings in this matter. »

— Rebecca Vincent, Director of Operations and Campaigns at Reporters Without Borders

This whirlwind trial was marked by a twist. While the two men had initially pleaded not guilty, their lawyer announced in the afternoon their admission of guilt: They declare themselves guilty, announced Simon Micallef Stafrace, which made it possible to reach a speedy sentence.

George Degiorgio had already confessed to the murder during questioning in July, calling it just business em>.

Last year, the two brothers said they were ready to involve a former minister in exchange for a pardon, which had been given to them. finally refused.

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