Nation & World

Assassins killed Panama Papers journalist with text message bomb

A woman holds a lantern with a picture of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was assassinated in a car bomb attack, during a protest outside the law courts in Valletta, Malta, October 17, 2017.  REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi
A woman holds a lantern with a picture of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was assassinated in a car bomb attack, during a protest outside the law courts in Valletta, Malta, October 17, 2017. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

The assassins who killed Panama Papers journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia used a fatal text message sent from a boat out at sea, according to a report.

Authorities on the Mediterranean island of Malta arrested 10 people for the explosion last month that killed the lauded 53-year-old blogger known for her criticism of the government.

Three have now been charged, with a report in Malta Today this week revealing details of the investigation, including how they allegedly set off the powerful bomb on her car.

Brothers George and Alfred Degiorgio, 54 and 52, were joined by Vincent Muscat, 55, in the reported scheme, which involved an electronic device attached the explosive that was put on the vehicle the morning of the blast.

George Degeorgio, stationed on a boat out at sea, is alleged to have sent the text message to the device that triggered the killing after receiving a signal from his brother, Malta Today reported.

Seven other men, all of them Maltese, were released on bail as authorities continue the investigation into those already charged, who all have previous criminal records.

Galizia’s family has repeatedly questioned the independence of the investigation by authorities, who were often the target of her blog.

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The slain journalist was most famous for using information in the Panama Papers leaks to allege illicit activity between the inner circle of Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and the ruling family of Azerbaijan.

Reports after her death said the explosive Semtex was used in the bomb, prompting speculation that the weapon came from somewhere other than the island off the coast of Sicily.

Sources close to the investigation told multiple news outlets Wednesday that the explosive was instead TNT.

Prosecutors have not released a motive for the killing.

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