Gabi Zimmer, GUE/NGL President, on the murder of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta:

“The shocking death of Daphne Caruana Galizia, a journalist who did so much to shed light on corruption through her investigations into the Panama Papers scandal, is a vicious attack on freedom of speech and democracy.”

“Our thoughts and sympathies lie with the friends, family and colleagues of this brave woman. We urgently need a complete and thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding her death so that the forces behind it are exposed and brought to justice.”

“We, in the European Parliament, owe a lot to all the whistleblowers and journalists, like Ms Galizia, who worked to expose the corruption and money laundering of the Panama Papers scandal. Indeed, as the Parliament’s own investigation into this scandal comes to a head this week, we must redouble our efforts to ensure that the underworld of money laundering, tax fraud, and corruption in our midst is tackled comprehensively. Crucial to all this are adequate protections for those journalists who serve the public interest by exposing these networks. Prime Minister Muscat has a particular duty in this regard as he has promised the European Parliament that he would do everything possible in order to have a full investigation and clarification of tax fraud cases.”

GUE/NGL MEPs on Parliament's Committee of Inquiry into the Panama Papers scandal and related money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion added their reactions to the news of Caruana Galizia’s death.

German MEP Fabio Di Masi said “the terrible death of Daphne Caruana Galizia has to be fully clarified and the wire-pullers punished. It is all the more important that the Panama Papers Investigation Committee, without regard to individuals and political interests, demands tough laws against money laundering, tax fraud, corruption and terrorist financing.”

Calling it “an attack against freedom of expression and anti-corruption activists everywhere” Irish MEP Matt Carthy recalled Ms Caruana Galizia’s engagement with the inquiry, meeting with MEPs in Valletta in February this year as part of the inquiry's fact-finding mission to Malta. “Ms Caruana Galizia's work as an investigative journalist and blogger focused on the links of Malta's political and government figures to offshore shell companies set up by Mossack Fonseca. These figures included Malta's Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and his wife Michelle Muscat, Minister Konrad Mizzi, and the PM's chief of staff Keith Schembri. The Panama Papers inquiry committee will pay tribute to Ms Caruana Galizia this week and will write to her family to express our condolences, and to the Maltese authorities demanding a fully independent investigation into this assassination.”

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