Press Freedom NGOs call for maximum punishment for Daphne Caruana Galizia killers

International press freedom organisations have called for the maximum punishment for the killers of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia following revelations made by George Degiorgio of his role in the assassination and the attempt by his lawyers to seek a settlement in exchange for information about other crimes.

The accused contract killer spoke to Reuters from prison and said the murder was “just business”, adding that had he known who Caruana Galizia was, he would have asked for more money.

Degiorgio, his brother Alfred and accomplice Vince Muscat were arrested and charged with carrying out the murder in December 2017. Prior to the Reuters interview, both Degiorgio brothers had denied involvement in the assassination, while Vince Muscat, known as Il-Koħħu, admitted to his role in exchange for a reduced sentence of 15 years imprisonment.

George Degiorgio’s confession is part of an attempt to seek a similar settlement to that of Muscat. In a statement to Reuters via their lawyers, George and Alfred Degiorgio said, “We want a judgment upon admission in the trial of Daphne’s murder which judgment is in line with that already handed down to Vincent Muscat. We are willing to divulge everything we know about other murders, bombs and crimes provided we receive a pardon. We emphasise that the families of other victims should be served justice too.”

Corinne Vella, Daphne Caruana Galizia’s sister, wrote on social media that “George Degiorgio’s own words show he is a stone-cold killer undeserving of any reprieve”, and added that “The statement written by Alfred and George Degiorgio’s lawyers demanding an obscenely reduced sentence for Daphne’s murder and a blanket pardon for multiple murders, car bombs, and other crimes, concludes that ‘the families of other victims should be served justice too.’ This is a cynical and divisive ploy.”

“If their outrageous request is accepted by the prosecutor,” she wrote, “the state would be establishing a deeply disturbing precedent — that the more people you kill, the more bargaining power you have to ensure your own impunity.”

International press freedom organisations, many of which have been monitoring the developments in Caruana Galizia’s case for years, were united in their calls for justice.

In a statement on social media, Article 19 wrote, “The outcome of Daphne’s murder case will set a standard across Europe. Maximum punishment for her killers would signal that journalists can’t be killed with impunity.”

Rebecca Vincent, Director of International Campaigns for Reporters without Borders, said, “Finally, a long-overdue confession nearly five years after the horrific assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta. Now it’s time for full criminal justice for the Degiorgio brothers and everyone else involved — from hitmen to mastermind.”

Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament, said the EP will not stop demanding justice for Daphne Caruana Galizia, while the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) called Degiorgio’s statements “Heartless words from a heinous killer”.

The International Press Institute (IPI) said, “Daphne’s murder was an egregious, horrendous crime. Five years after it happened, we’re still waiting for justice. Every single person involved needs to be convicted and jailed.”

                           
                               
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viv
viv
1 month ago

Blackmailing the very society he hates.

Life in solitary.

James
James
1 month ago

If this is not the ideal moment for the international community to step up and ensure that matters are taken out of Malta’s hands, then any credibility of justice being served in Malta will be destroyed for ever.

The US State Department issued 2 press releases in December 2021 confirming they had “ credible evidence “ of high profile Maltese political figures being implicated in the Isobel dos Santos scandals, followed shortly afterwards by Schembri and Mizzi being cited in the Electrogas scam.

Surely the FBI, Interpol and Europol between them have enough resources to put together the evidence required to ensure that justice is finally served and remove the AG and Police Commissioner from the equation and avoid yet another “!technical “ faux pas which will preserve immunity from prosecution?

Luke
Luke
1 month ago

but here they do not give the maximum of the penalty or the minimum … the courts are very slow, just to make people forget and they still try to leave everyone free …

Marco Farrugia
Marco Farrugia
1 month ago

After the strage di capaci, it was the material killer that informed on Toto Riina. I understand the emotional issues but at this rate the mandanti will never be discovered.

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