October 16, 2019 / 6:39 PM / a month ago

Two years on, mourners seek justice for Maltese anti-graft journalist

VALLETTA (Reuters) - Thousands of people held candles and pictures on Wednesday at an evening vigil in Malta’s capital Valletta to mark two years since anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed by a car bomb outside her home.

A person hold a candle in front of a picture of anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, during a vigil and protest on the second anniversary of assassination of the journalist in a car bomb, in Valletta, Malta October 16, 2019. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

Three people have been under arrest since December 2017 and face trial for allegedly carrying out the murder, but police say investigations are continuing to identify who ordered it.

Those taking part in the vigil walked silently behind a banner calling for “Truth and Justice”.

The Maltese government has been criticized by the Caruana Galizia family and the Council of Europe for its handling of the investigation.

The Times of Malta reported on Sunday that one of the three men awaiting trial had been offered a reduced sentence in exchange for testimony leading to the identification and conviction of the mastermind.

The government has not confirmed the report.

“The Government has full faith in the ongoing work of the investigators and the independent inquiring magistrate who should be allowed to continue carrying out their duties in a serene and independent manner,” it said on Wednesday.

A group of Geneva-based human rights experts said Valletta must do more to establish the truth.

“Two years have passed. No convictions, no trials of ringleaders and masterminds,” the group said in a statement.

“On the contrary, posthumous libel suits continue to target the family of Daphne Caruana Galizia and makeshift memorials of her are frequently removed.”

Representatives of Reporters Without Borders, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe and local politicians took part in a short ceremony on Wednesday at the time and on the spot where the bomb went off in Bidnija, seven miles from Valletta.

Reporting by Chris Scicluna, Editing by Gavin Jones and Angus MacSwan

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