Journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed when she was “becoming irrelevant”, former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has said.
In an interview with Reuters journalist Stephen Grey as part of his new podcast ‘Who Killed Daphne?’, Muscat said that Caruana Galizia was murdered a few months after the PL “survived her most virulent onslaught” and won the 2017 general election.
@lovinmaltaofficial What do you make of Muscat’s statements on the latest episode of the #reuters #podcast ? 🧐 #fyp #fypmalta #malta #LovinMalta #josephmuscat #daphnecaruanagalizia ♬ original sound – Lovin Malta
“She was killed at a time when she was, at least in my mind, becoming irrelevant,” he said. “Government had survived her most virulent onslaught so for me personally it was almost a time of sitting back, taking the popcorn out and enjoying the show.”
“And then she gets killed.”
This appeared to be a reference to Caruana Galizia’s critical writings against Adrian Delia, who was elected PN leader shortly after the election.
“And then she gets killed, which didn’t make any sense to me. It still baffles me till this very moment.”
Yorgen Fenech has been charged with Caruana Galizia’s murder, with the court case against him proceeding at a snail’s pace since it started in 2019.
Under arrest, Fenech implicated Muscat’s former chief of staff Keith Schembri, but although Schembri was arrested and interrogated, he was never charged in connection with the murder. However, Schembri had curiously “lost” his phone right before his arrest.
In his interview with Gray, Muscat said whoever committed the murder must have been “stupid”.
“I use this word continuously when I refer to whoever committed the murder… you need to be stupid and out-of-touch to think that you can get away with it.”
Muscat also denied feeling a sense of satisfaction after Caruana Galizia’s assassination, arguing that he knew her stories would become more powerful as a result.
“Let’s put it this way, a dead journalist is more damning than a journalist who is alive,” he said. “While Daphne was alive, you could agree or disagree with her, you could go along with her, criticise her, or have a level-headed discussion about whether what she was writing is true or not.”
“Once that person is killed… not only dead but killed in such a brutal manner… I knew in my mind that all of a sudden everything she has ever written has become true.”
What do you make of Joseph Muscat’s statement?