150,000 Euros paid to kill Maltese journalist
An investigation by Reuters has revealed that the murderers of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia were paid 150,000 Euros (a little over Rs 1 crore as per 2017 conversion rates) to assassinate her back in October 2017. The AP has reported that a Maltese businessmen with links to its head of state has been charged for financing the murder.
Daphne ran a popular blog in Malta in which she wrote political columns and also laid bare several corruption charges against key government figures. She was killed in a car-bombing in October 2017.
The latest AP report says that Yorgen Fenech, Maltese hotelier and former chief of the island-nations power company, has been charged for funding the killing. He is said to be linked to PM Joseph Muscat through associates and former chief of staff.
One of the conspirators, a taxi driver called Melvin Theuma, had been picked up by the police on a gambling charge and he leveraged a pardon from the Maltese president using his information on the Daphne killing. He had acted as a lookout for the murders–brothers Alfred and George Degiorgio–and acted as a go-between the killers and the main conspirators.
Reuters reports that it had found out these details last year, but sat on them for a year to avoid jeopardising the probe in to the killing of the journalist.
The assassins had plotted to shoot her using a rifle but later returned the weapon and decided to use a car bomb instead.