19 days after the assassination of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia shook news houses worldwide and one week after an autopsy was carried out, a funeral was held this afternoon at 2pm at the Mosta Rotunda.
The crowd which had gathered outside from a whole hour before burst into applause as the casket was carried out of the hearse and into the church, while Times of Malta reported that some mourners reportedly told journalists snapping photos that they “should be ashamed” of themselves.
Various dignitaries were present, including former PN leader Simon Busuttil, former prime minister Laurence Gonzi and president emeritus Eddie Fenech Adami. President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and PN Leader Adrian Delia, on the other hand, were not present.
By the time everyone slowly walked in a couple of minutes later, the massive Mosta church was packed, with some latecomers even being turned back.
Photo by Alessandro Bianchi (Reuters)
Archbishop Charles Scicluna, who lead the service, had very strong words for the journalist’s killers.
“We still do not know who killed Daphne,” he told the congregation. “However hard you try to evade from the justice of men, you will never escape from the justice of God. Repent before it is too late.”
Archbishop Scicluna also urged Matthew, Andrew and Paul, Caruana Galizia’s three sons, to be strong, and ended his homily on a unifying note.
“I pray that the hard and contemptuous words with which we demonise and denigrate each other cease once and for all.”
A statement from Pope Francis to the people of Malta was also read out by the Archbishop.
An hour later, the funeral service came to a close with a huge crowd of people gathered outside the Mosta church as the funeral cortege emerged. The crowd broke into a spontaneous choir of the Maltese National Anthem, with many people holding their hands up in a ‘V’ gesture for peace.
Photo by TVM.com.mt
Meanwhile, flags on all government buildings and the law courts are flying at half past today on a day of national mourning.