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The immortal journalist

Six months ago Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed in a car bomb close to her home in Bidnija. In her final blog she wrote thus: “There are crooks everywhere. The situation is desperate”.

Half a year later, the suspicion that crooks are indeed everywhere has become stronger and more widespread. The situation is even more desperate.

The Daphne Project, an international grouping of media houses, including Allied Newspapers, has, for the past five months, been going through thousands of documents that had been available to the murdered blogger. The fruit of their work is now being published, causing some sleepless nights to some, ranging from law-abiding citizens genuinely worried about the rule of law to bad apples who may stand to lose a lot.

However, what really matters is that, one, the work Ms Caruana Galizia had done in life will bear fruit even in her death and, two, that it will make people reflect and, more importantly, push them to stand up to be counted, demand action and not rest until justice is done… and seen to be done.

The most worrying aspect, apart from Ms Caruana Galizia’s violent death itself, is the fact that supposedly independent and autonomous institutions have been exposed to what they have really been rendered to: mere servants of arrogant and dangerous individuals in positions of power. The rule of law is becoming “the rule of delinquents”, to quote outgoing Chief Justice Silvio Camilleri.

The courts are increasingly losing the people’s trust. The Attorney General is evidently more interested in giving his main client and employer – the government – the sort of advice he thinks it would like to hear rather than what the law truly demands. And the police… Where are the police?

It is evident from what the Daphne Project have dug out that the police are refusing to accept there could be a political connection, that people in government or, at least, in positions to wield power may – though not necessarily so – have some answers to give. Yet, no politicians have been summoned to be interviewed/interrogated so far.

How can the police know no politicians have nothing to answer for if they do not consider that possibility? Politicians were afterall Ms Caruana Galizia’s main targets. Again, it is a possibility not a probability, at this stage.

For the record, nobody should rush into conclusions because the Daphne Project has reported that Economy Minister Chris Cardona was spotted in the same bar frequented by one of the three suspects facing murder charges. A popular bar would, of course, attract many patrons. However, in the circumstances, the police should have already spoken to Dr Cardona. Yet, the news yesterday was that, instead, they summoned former Opposition leader Simon Busuttil because his car was reportedly used in connection with posters displayed to mark six months since the Bidnija murder.

Should one therefore wonder why Ms Caruana Galizia’s family would not hand over her laptop to the police?

The journalists behind the Daphne Project are doing their bit to ensure  she did not die in vain. But for her to remain ‘immortal’ all those of goodwill, especially those in places that matter, must be vociferous and stand up to be counted.

Otherwise, they too could be considered accomplices in the brutal Bidnija murder.

This is a Times of Malta print editorial

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