Updated 4pm - Added President's comments

Malta will observe a national day of mourning on Friday when Daphne Caruana Galizia is due to be laid to rest, the government has announced. 

Flags will fly at half mast. Photo: ShutterstockFlags will fly at half mast. Photo: Shutterstock

All flags on public buildings will fly at half mast on the day, following a decision taken by the country's judiciary earlier today. 

Read: Courts to shut early, fly flag at half mast on Friday

The day of mourning would be a sign of respect by a "united" nation and a message that attacks on freedom of expression would not be accepted by Maltese democracy, the government said in a statement.

It called on everyone to respect the day of mourning, adding "democracy's strength must emerge in moments like these." 

In an interview on ONE radio, president Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca said she was hopeful that people would set their partisan interests aside during this moment of mourning. 

President Coleiro Preca said she was encouraged by the fact that political leaders seemed to agree that the Constitution needed to be reformed, and said that agreement on this issue augured well for the Constitutional convention in the pipeline. 

Ms Caruana Galizia's funeral will be held on Friday in Mosta. Mourners will be permitted to join the funeral service but the family has said the burial will be a private affair. 

The government had previously said it would wait for the Caruana Galizia family to make funeral arrangements before taking a decision about whether to call a national day of mourning. 

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