Daphne Caruana Galizia did not give up despite the threats and vilification. She uncovered corruption at the highest levels of government and exposed Malta for what it has become – a Mafia State.
This was a common sentiment expressed by journalists, activists, politicians and relatives of the assassinated journalist interviewed in a documentary commemorating her assassination three years on.
‘When They Come Undone’ is a documentary launched by Repubblika, Occupy Justice and Manuel Delia to commemorate three years since the journalist’s assassination. It looks at the factors which led to her brutal killing, the fight for justice by civil society and journalists’ pursuit of the truth.
“She would never give up. People who killed her really felt they had no other choice. But they were wrong. They could have done things correctly. Why was she killed? Because she knew too much for them to live with. They knew that nothing would stop her,” said Caruana Galizia’s sister Corinne Vella in the documentary.
“They blackmailed her, threatened her, vilified her, sued her, and look what happened now. But her work continues. And now, slowly, they all come undone,” she said.
This was not just a crime against one family, but against a country’s way of life, she added.
The individuals interviewed in the documentary said one positive outcome was the fact that the movement that followed the assassination managed to achieve change that was deemed impossible.
Founder and Editor of The Shift News, Caroline Muscat, said the courage that journalists show in continuing to pursue her investigations despite the risk involved is something Caruana Galizia would applaud.
“There should have been more anger. We got lost in the detail in who she was and what she did. But one remarkably positive thing that emerged following her murder is the power of civil society,” Muscat said.
The Shift was created a few weeks after her assassination. “We felt we need to send an answer to the perpetrators, that you can’t silence one of us. It’s been three years where we have learnt that there are far more people out there who believe in what is right and that the fight is worth fighting,” Muscat added.
The documentary explores how Malta turned into a Mafia State.
“Matthew (Daphne’s son) was never forgiven for calling Malta a ‘Mafia State’. People believe that we live in a tourist brochure, where the sun shines and the sky is blue and we’re always happy. Sure we’re all of these things but there is a much darker side as well. A lot of the money which came to Malta was money being laundered through projects. What was worse is that this was enabled by a government that was taken over by criminal organisations. That, in essence, is a mafia state,” Caruana Galizia’s sister said.
Former European Court of Human Rights Judge Vincent De Gaetano shared a similar sentiment.
“It’s not just mafia, but mafia linked with strong political powers. This is the worst kind of cocktail you can have in a county. From a jewel of the Mediterranean, we practically became the Laundromat of Europe,” De Gaetano said.
Caruana Galizia was murdered in a car bomb on 16 October 2017.