The Case of Galizia- Malta’s Murdered Journalist

Malta gains world-wide media attention

It’s not very often that Mal­ta gets atten­tion from the Inter­na­tion­al Media. At first glance, the Ice­land, which became a part of the EU in 2004, looks too small to be rel­e­vant to the rest of the world. Daphne Caru­a­na Gal­izia on Octo­ber 16, 2017, Malta’s pop­u­lar­i­ty in the news sky­rock­et­ed. Gal­izia, who was heav­i­ly involved in Mal­tese pol­i­tics, filed a police report stat­ing that she was being threat­ened. She was blown up in a car two weeks lat­er. Her body (or the parts that could be found any­way) was not buried till Novem­ber.

After this inci­dent, edi­tors-in-chiefs of the press from the world over to the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion, request­ing the reg­u­la­tions on its free­dom of press. The answer to the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion was clear: Mal­ta would have been close to the Unit­ed States.

How­ev­er, Joseph Mus­cat, prime min­is­ter of Mal­ta, had made this clear from the get-go. Crim­i­nal mis­con­duct of this degree would not be tol­er­at­ed in his coun­try. He pledged to leave no stone unturned in the inves­ti­ga­tion, and he said, “The case is going on, and the FBI. The free­dom of press dur­ing this process was not vio­lat­ed.

Freedom of press vs Government

We all know the rela­tion­ship between the media and gov­ern­ment pol­i­tics is a messy one. Mus­cat expe­ri­enced the dam­age it can cause first hand, when he almost lost his job to accu­sa­tions of cor­rup­tion made by the mur­dered jour­nal­ist. Gal­izia, he has put pri­or strife behind him to make it clear that he wants to take a fierce stand against the mur­der. Muscat’s words are con­vinc­ing. He under­stands what is at stake: The very cred­i­bil­i­ty of his own coun­try.

It is accept­able and often nec­es­sary for the media to break down the walls. The promi­nent force is the free­dom of speech, which is the right of every demo­c­ra­t­ic cit­i­zen. It is our duty to pro­tect and uphold this right. This will always remain the case. How­ev­er, this is not the case. It is a very pow­er­ful force, in the cir­cum­stances both before and after the mur­der.

Freedom of press is a powerful force

Galizia’s mur­der was a vile, ter­ri­ble act. It can not be jus­ti­fied. How­ev­er, it is unjus­ti­fi­able for the media to use their stance to defame an entire coun­try, espe­cial­ly con­sid­er­ing the com­pli­ca­tion of the mat­ter and the extent to which Gal­izia was involved. The mur­der is incon­sis­tent with the rest of Mal­ta. There­fore, I find it uneth­i­cal to hold an entire coun­try and its gov­ern­ment under sus­pi­cion. It is in our best inter­est to steer clear of the bias­es that flow out of them.

About Philipp Sauerborn

In 2005, Philipp Sauer­born joined the firm of St. Matthew in Lon­don, one of the lead­ing Ger­man account­ing firms in Eng­land renowned for its exper­tise in cor­po­rate, com­mer­cial and tax law, as a depart­ment head. After three years, he was a part­ner and man­ag­ing direc­tor.
Towards the end of 2011, he decid­ed to move to Mal­ta, where he first worked at inter­na­tion­al law firms and con­sul­tan­cies in an employed and con­sult­ing capac­i­ty. Since the begin­ning of 2013, he has been a senior employ­ee at Dr. Wern­er & Part­ner. Mr. Sauer­born is cur­rent­ly com­plet­ing his ADIT ‑Advanced Diplo­ma in Inter­na­tion­al Tax.

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