Suspect confesses to murder of Maltese journalist in interview: ‘It was just business for me’ Abroad

One of the three men charged in Malta with the murder of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia (53) in late 2017 has confessed. That’s what George DiGiorgio did in an interview from prison with a reporter from the Reuters news agency.

DiGiorgio, who is accused of detonating a car bomb that killed the prominent Maltese investigative journalist, has so far denied any involvement. In the interview, intended for a podcast about the sensational murder case, he pleaded guilty. The suspect said that if he had known more about the victim, he would have asked for more money to carry out the job. ,,If I had known, I would have gone for ten million. Not 150,000,” he said, referring to the amount in euros he was paid for the journalist’s murder. “For me it was just business. Yes. business as usual.” To add later, “Of course I’m sorry.”

Involve others

The suspect also said he does not intend to “pay alone” for the murder and would soon involve others in the case. DiGiorgio’s brother Alfred and accomplice Vince Muscat were arrested in December 2017 and charged with buying, planting and detonating the two car bombs that killed Caruana Galizia near her childhood home in October 2017. A fourth suspect, prominent businessman Yorgen Fenech, has been charged with organizing and financing the murder. All four denied involvement, but Muscat pleaded guilty in the trial against him and was sentenced to 15 years in prison last February.

According to local media, Muscat had sought a pardon or reduced sentence in exchange for information about the murder case and other serious crimes, including an attempted robbery of a bank branch in which he was arrested and charged. His request for a presidential pardon was rejected by the cabinet in 2019. A taxi driver who allegedly acted as a mediator in the murder was pardoned in exchange for secret recordings. This Melvin Theuma worked in the Fenech apartment building and received a pardon from Prime Minister Muscat.

Corruption investigation

Caruana Galizia, 53, was killed by two car bombs in October 2017. She did just before her death investigation into government corruption and links between government and businessmen† The prime minister and several ministers in Malta resigned after the high-profile murder.

An independent commission of inquiry came to the conclusion that the Maltese state is partly responsible for the murder on the critical journalist. The state is alleged to have failed to recognize the life-threatening dangers to Caruana Galizia and to take reasonable measures.

The Maltese government ordered the investigation in 2019 to determine whether the state could have prevented the killing. This happened under pressure from the Council of Europe, Member of Parliament Pieter Omtzigt as special investigator in Malta played a crucial role. According to the commission, which spoke to several witnesses, the murder was related to the work of the investigative journalist, who had very sensitive information.

The alleged principal Yorgen Fenech.

The alleged principal Yorgen Fenech. © REUTERS

Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Daphne Caruana Galizia. © AP

The wreckage of Daphne Caruana Galizia's car next to a road near the town of Mosta.

The wreckage of Daphne Caruana Galizia’s car next to a road near the town of Mosta. © AP

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