Slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia should have heeded her own warnings by leaving the country, the Russian whistleblower who collaborated with her on the Egrant revelations said.
Speaking to The Sunday Times of Malta, the whistleblower said Ms Caruana Galizia constantly used to advise her to flee the country for her own safety.
The whistleblower heeded the journalist’s advice in June, slipping out of Malta with her family after informing the courts about purported intimidation attempts against her family in Russia.
She described the murder on Monday as a “stab in the back”.
“Daphne was always expressing concerns about my safety. As I said before, I left Malta to make sure my family in Russia is safe. As we see, Daphne should have left as well,” she said.
Daphne was always expressing concerns about my safety. As I said before, I left Malta to make sure my family in Russia is safe
“I pray for God to give Daphne’s sons courage… God knows everything, and justice will prevail,” the whistleblower said. Despite refusing police protection outside her Bidnija home, The Times of Malta reported on Friday that prior to the 2013 election, police officers were instructed to keep any eye on Ms Caruana Galizia.
The journalist and the whistleblower came under intense political pressure after publishing revelations that the Panama company Egrant was owned by the Prime Minister’s wife, Michelle Muscat.
She published claims by the whistleblower that $1 million had been transferred to Egrant by the daughter of Azeri President Ilham Aliyev. Ms Caruana Galizia also uploaded transcripts of two trust declarations linking Ms Muscat to Egrant on her blog.
A magisterial inquiry on the claims is still under way and both Ms Caruana Galizia and the Russian whistleblower have testified.
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, who often dismissed Ms Caruana Galizia as a “hate blogger”, denies any part in the Egrant affair.
Ms Caruana Galizia was frequently targeted by threats and harassment. She also faced scores of libel suits in a strategy the journalist said was designed to financially cripple her.
In February, she was slapped with garnishee orders totalling €46,000 filed on the behest of Minister Chris Cardona and his legal adviser, Joseph Gerada.
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