Murdered Maltese journalist: Jersey link in court case
A MURDERED Maltese investigative journalist was being sued by a high-ranking politician after she accused him of laundering money from a prostitution racket through a Jersey bank account, it has emerged.
Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was described as a ‘one woman Wikileaks’ by the Politico website, died earlier this month after an explosive device blew apart her car, which was outside her home near the village of Bidnija in northern Malta.
The 53-year-old ran a blog in which she investigated cases of alleged corruption involving politicians, including Adrian Delia, who became leader of the opposition National Party of Malta last month
Much of her material was based upon research of the Panama Papers – a leak of more than 11 million documents held by Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca last year, which revealed trails of billions of pounds held in offshore jurisdictions.
Mr Delia filed five libel lawsuits against Ms Caruana Galizia in the Maltese Magistrate’s Court, after she accused him in August of helping launder £1 million from a prostitution racket based in Soho, London, using a bank account held with Barclays International in Jersey.
Documents which Ms Galizia claimed provided evidence for her allegations – including a bank statement in Mr Delia’s name and a lawyer’s letter – which date back to 2003 were published on her blog.
In a court application submitted on 25 August, Maltese lawyer Arthur Azzopardi, acting for Mr Delia, wrote:
‘The applicant makes reference to articles published on website http://www.dahpnecaruanagalizia.com on 24 August entitled...
‘Around £1 million in money from London prostitution was processed through Adrian Delia’s Barclays International account in Jersey...
‘These are the Soho flats in the prostitution racket from which Adrian Delia received “rent” for Maltese landlords into his offshore bank account in Jersey...
‘These above mentioned articles include several allegations, false, libelous and defamatory, against the exponent that were intended to disrupt or reduce his reputation, honor and his credibility, as will be proved in the course of the proceedings.’
Mr Delia sought compensation following Ms Galizia’s ‘libellous and defamatory allegations’.
Immediately following her death, in a statement Mr Delia suggested that Ms Galizia was murdered because of her reporting and condemned the murder.
‘A political murder took place today,’ he said. ‘What happened today is not an ordinary killing. It is a consequence of the total collapse of the rule of law which has been going on for the past four years.’
The libel case has been withdrawn. Calls have been made for Mr Delia to step down from his position because of the allegations, however.