Maltese businessman indicted for journalist’s 2017 murder

International

FILE – In this Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018 file photo, flowers and a candle lie in front of a portrait of slain investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia during a vigil outside the law courts in Valletta, Malta. After a long process of compiling evidence and witness testimony, indictment on charges of complicity in the murder and for criminal conspiracy was filed against Yorgen Fenech, a hotelier whom investigators believe masterminded the killing. (AP Photo/Jonathan Borg, File)

VALLETTA, Malta (AP) — Malta’s attorney general on Wednesday indicted a leading Maltese businessman in the murder of an investigative journalist nearly four years ago that triggered an international outcry against attempts to silence reporters.

Daphne Caruana Galizia, who investigated alleged corruption involving high-level politicians and prominent business figures in the tiny European Union nation, was killed in a car bombing on Oct. 16, 2017. The car she was driving blew up on a road near her home.

After a long process of compiling evidence and witness testimony, an indictment on charges of complicity in the murder and for criminal conspiracy was filed against Yorgen Fenech, a hotelier, who denies any involvement in the murder.

No trial date has been set yet.

Fenech was arrested in November 2019 in connection with the murder and is currently in jail. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of alleged complicity in the murder.

Other people have been investigated in the case. Three men were charged with carrying out her murder, one of whom has pleaded guilty. In addition, an alleged middleman was been granted a presidential pardon in exchange for revealing what he knows. Two more people were charged with supplying the bomb.

An independent inquiry into the murder which was published in July concluded that the Maltese state “has to bear responsibility” for the assassination due to a culture of impunity that emanated from the highest levels of government.

Fenech was involved in a consortium which won a highly controversial contract with the Maltese government to build a power station.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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