A Maltese journalist who led the Panama Papers investigations that linked former Deputy Chief Justice Kalpana Rawal and other high-ranking Kenyans to a string of shell companies registered in a notorious tax haven has died.
Ms Daphne Galizia was killed on Monday, when a powerful bomb blew up her car near her home in Bidnija, Malta.
The killing has attracted the attention of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which said the death was shocking.
“ICIJ condemns violence against journalists and is deeply concerned about the freedom of the press in Malta. ICIJ calls upon the Maltese authorities to investigate the murder and bring the perpetrators to justice,” ICIJ said in a statement.
The local media reported that she died just 30 minutes after she finished publishing information on delays in the prosecution of the corrupt.
Her last words on her blog were: “There are crooks everywhere you look now.”
In her recent reporting, she had claimed that documents from a small Malta-based bank showed that the country’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat was a beneficial owner of a company in the Panama.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Mr Mathew Caruana said his mother was murdered because she stood between the rule of law and those who sought to violate it.
Mr Caruana, also a journalist, said: “When there is blood and fire all around you, that’s war. We are a people at war against organised crime, which has become indistinguishable,” read part of the post.
Mid last year, Ms Galizia leaked the Panama Papers that named Ms Rawal, among other Kenyans, as part of a group engaging in business and evading tax using a Panama-based firm — Mossack Fonseca. According to the leaks, Ms Rawal was a director of four companies and was actively involved in two of them, even after she was appointed a High Court judge.
It also named her husband, Mr Hasmukhrai Rawal, as a director or shareholder of seven other firms.
Three are said to have been used to buy and sell property in the UK.
Justice Rawal argued that registering and operating businesses in tax havens is a “perfectly legal and legitimate corporate practice in the UK”, where her family is in the real estate business.