Mastermind behind Maltese journalist's murder is being protected, says husband

Political interests blocking inquiry into Daphne Caruana Galizia killing, widower claims

The family of the murdered anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galiziabelieve that three men awaiting trial for the crime were acting on orders from inside Malta, and have expressed concern that elements within the government may be protecting whoever commissioned the killing.

In his first full interview since his wife’s death in a car bombing six months ago, Peter Caruana Galizia claimed political interests were blocking the police investigation and said he feared the mastermind might never be brought to justice.

“It is clear to us that the three men arraigned so far are simply contractors commissioned by a third party,” he said. “My sons and I are not convinced that our government really wants to establish who sent them, for fear such persons are in fact very close to our government. For this reason we may never know the truth.”

The accused men have all entered not guilty pleas. Police are still setting out their evidence before a magistrate, who will decide whether to dismiss the case or send the men for prosecution before a judge and jury.

The Maltese government says police are leaving no stone unturned. The justice minister is offering a €1m (£870,000) reward for information leading to anyone who may have ordered the car bombing on 16 October last year.

What is the Daphne Project?

A fearless anti-corruption journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia’s reporting came to international attention with her exposes in the 2016 Panama Papers project.

On 16 October the following year, the Maltese reporter was murdered by a bomb placed under the driver’s seat of her car.

The Daphne Project was created to continue her investigations. It is a collaboration of 18 media organisations in 15 different countries, including the Guardian, Reuters, Le Monde and the New York Times.

The project is the first to be led by Forbidden Stories, an international network of journalists who stand ready to take over when colleagues are silenced through imprisonment or murder.

The project will publish a series of fresh revelations, setting out the dangers that alleged political corruption and poor controls on money laundering inside Malta pose to law and order in Europe.