Three and a half years after the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, the three defendants face the Maltese justice. On Tuesday February 23, one of them, Vincent Muscat, was sentenced by the Valletta court to fifteen years in prison for the murder, in October 2017, of the Maltese anti-corruption journalist.
In announcing the verdict, the court said it had taken into account the fact that Vincent Muscat, who had for the first time earlier in the day pleaded guilty to the murder, had collaborated with the police and that the prosecution had also requested this sentence. .
On October 16, 2017, journalist blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed by a bomb placed in her car. For several years she had been investigating corruption at the highest level in Malta and in particular the business of the sale of European passports by the Maltese State to people sometimes subject to international sanctions.
Three men with already loaded criminal records – the brothers Alfred and George Degiorgio, as well as Vincent Muscat – are indicted the next day, suspected of participating in a criminal organization and of having manufactured the bomb. They had pleaded not guilty since then, until Tuesday’s turnaround when Mr. Muscat decided to plead guilty. “These are serious charges, murder, conspiracy, he risks life imprisonment”, Judge Edwina Grima told Marc Sant, Mr. Muscat’s lawyer, but the latter repeated that he was pleading guilty.
On the track of the sponsor
A fourth man linked to the case, Yorgen Fenech, a businessman who owns the company 17 Black, was arrested in 2019 on his yacht off the coast of Malta, as he tried to flee. He is officially considered to have information about the case. Some media, the journalist’s family and a witness present him as a possible sponsor of the murder, but the hearings into the charges against him have not yet started. The arrest of Mr. Fenech, on the other hand, had led to a series of resignations at the highest political level.
The chief of staff of the then prime minister, Joseph Muscat (unrelated to Vincent Muscat), resigned in November 2019, followed by the tourism minister, while the economy minister stepped down ” reserved “ during the investigation. The Maltese Prime Minister had announced the 1er December that he would also resign within the month.