The most controversial journalist of Malta Caruana Galizia was killed in a car bomb explosion. She had just driven away from her home in Mosta, a town outside Malta`s capital of Valletta when her car exploded. Debris from the Peugeot 108 got scattered across the road and into a field nearby.
Caruana Galizia was the first to link Maltese minister Konrad Mizzi and Prime Minister Joseph Muscat`s chief of staff Keith Schembri to the Panama Papers leak.
Both Mr. Mizzi and Mr. Schembri had anchors in New Zealand, which held companies in Panama, Caruana Galizia reported.
"She single-handedly brought the Government to the verge of collapse," one MP told Politico EU.
Caruana Galizia began her career as a columnist with the Sunday Times of Malta in 1987. She later became associate editor of The Malta Independent and continued to write columns for the publication after stepping down from that role.
In recent years she maintained her news blog, Running Commentary, which Politico EU claimed attracted up to 400,000 readers "on a good day" — taken in context, Malta`s population is just under 450,000.
Last year, she was included in a Politico EU list of 28 people "shaping, shaking and stirring Europe."
Describing her as "the blogging fury" and a "one-woman WikiLeaks," the publication said:
"No-one is exempt from [Caruana] Galizia`s digital cross-examination, and her language is invariably scalding."
This year, she went further, alleging Panama company Egrant was owned by Michelle Muscat, the PM`s wife. The allegations triggered the country`s general election in June, according to the Times of Malta.
Mr. Muscat, who admitted Caruana Galizia was one of his "harshest critics," called her murder a "barbaric attack," amounting to an assault on freedom of expression.
Opposition Leader Adrian Delia labeled the bombing a "political murder."
In a tribute, Times of Malta online editor Herman Grech described her as "loved and resented in equal measure in politically divided Malta."
"Her scathing pen spared no punches," he wrote.
Bangla Insider/ MA