Malta takes up slain journalist’s message

Malta takes up slain journalist’s message

VALLETTA - The Associated Press
Malta takes up slain journalist’s message

Several thousand Maltese citizens rallied on Oct. 22 to honor an investigative journalist killed by a car bomb, but the prime minister and opposition leader who were chief targets of Daphne Caruana Galizia's reporting did not attend.

Participants at the rally in Malta's capital, Valletta, placed flowers at a memorial to the journalist that sprang up opposite the law court building after her Oct. 16 slaying.

Some wore T-shirts or carried placards emblazoned with words from Caruana Galizia's final blog post: "There are crooks everywhere you look now. The situation is desperate" in Malta.

Malta's two dominant political forces, the ruling Labor and opposition Nationalist parties, participated in the rally which was organized to press demands for justice in her slaying.

But Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that he wouldn't attend because he knew the anti-corruption reporter's family didn't want him to be there.

Nationalist leader Adrian Delia also skipped the rally, saying he didn't want to "stir controversy."

Muscat and Delia, while fierce political rivals, have another thing in common: Both brought libel lawsuits against Caruana Galizia. Delia withdrew his pending libel cases last week after her killing.

Just before her death, Caruana Galizia had posted on her blog, Running Commentary, that there were "crooks everywhere" in Malta. The island nation has a reputation as a tax haven in the EU and has attracted companies and money from outside Europe.