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The Panama Papers, e-discovery … and a murder in the afternoon sun

Thursday, October 19, 2017   (0 Comments)
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Extract from Gregory Bufithis' article "The Panama Papers, e-discovery … and a murder in the afternoon sun"

18 October 2017 (Valetta, Malta) – Daphne Caruana Galizia died on Monday afternoon when her car, a Peugeot 108, was destroyed by a powerful Semtex-driven explosive device which blew the vehicle and her body into several pieces and threw the debris across a nearby field.

My wife is Maltese and she was a close family friend. I have known her work for years.

Daphne was a fearless reporter, taking on the rich and the powerful. She was very well known among journalists (the Guardian had once called her a “one-woman WikiLeaks”). She led the Panama Papers investigation into corruption in Malta. Her most recent revelations pointed the finger at Malta’s prime minister, Joseph Muscat, and two of his closest aides, connecting offshore companies linked to the three men with the sale of Maltese passports and hundreds of thousands of euros in payments from the government of Azerbaijan, plus many other nefarious deeds such as sweetheart real estate deals for the Russian oligarchs who have decamped to Malta – opening their own banks. And yet, despite a judicial inquiry into all of these allegations, Muscat won a snap election this past summer.

She had a blog that attracted more readers than the combined circulation of the country’s 4 newspapers. She was a thorn in the side of both the establishment and the underworld figures that hold sway in Malta, Europe’s smallest member state.

NOTE: many of my readers know Malta and/or have visited, knowing it only as “a charming popular holiday destination”. Park that. Malta is witnessing an unconscionable level of corruption and malfeasance by a government whose actions are causing irreparable economic and social harm. Much like Herr Trump in America. But the execution of Daphne Caruana Galizia … it was an execution … I lay this at the feet of the Prime Minister and his corruption and the ambient violence that trails his entourage. As one writer in the Times of Malta put it “this was a clinical act of elimination which required logistics and money”. As an attorney, I have spent enough time on the dark side to know the hallmarks of organized crime which more often than not operates on different planes. 

She was the 10th journalist worldwide to be murdered this year – and the second in Europe – in pursuit of finding the truth. The assassination of an investigative journalist, one who had unearthed serious allegations of money laundering and corruption in Malta, speaks volumes about the threat to freedom of speech in that country and the atmosphere of impunity and violence that has taken hold.

Read the full article here 


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