Murdered reporter had been investigating passports for sale in Malta

Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia
Updated 18 October 2017
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Murdered reporter had been investigating passports for sale in Malta

LONDON: An investigative journalist killed by a car bomb in Malta had worked to expose the sale of hundreds of passports to non-EU nationals.
Maltese reporter Daphne Caruana Galizia was known for campaigning against corruption and had reported on the government sale of passports before she was killed by a car bomb on Monday in the town of Bidnija, near her family home.
According to media reports 53-year-old Galizia filed a police report 15 days ago claiming that she was being threatened but the nature of the complaints have not been disclosed.
In her last blog post, published just hours before she died, she bemoaned the lack of progress in prosecuting alleged corruption cases.
“There are crooks everywhere you look now. The situation is desperate,” she wrote.
Galizia was known for her investigative journalism and her blog, called Running Commentary, was one of the most widely-read websites in Malta.
The journalist has been sued many times for her posts in which she revealed several corruption scandals involving Maltese politicians.
In 2016, she was named by Politico as one of “28 people who are shaping, shaking and stirring Europe.”
International Federation of Journalists President Philippe Leruth, said in a statement: ”The murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia leaves the journalism community in shock.
“We demand immediate investigation into her killing as this brutal assassination is a clear attack against press freedom. We send our deepest sympathy to Daphné’s family.”
Malta has issued hundreds of passports to non-EU nationals in exchange for huge sums of cash over the last two years – often to people from the Middle East seeking access to the EU.
Steve Goodwich, research manager at Transparency International UK, said he has noted an increased trend of rich Eastern countries “seeking favor and impunity” from EU jurisdictions.


Families bury victims as Tanzania ferry disaster toll passes 200

Updated 34 min 37 sec ago
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Families bury victims as Tanzania ferry disaster toll passes 200

  • Divers were also set to continue their grim search in the waters around the boat
  • With a surface area of 70,000 square kilometers, Lake Victoria is roughly the size of Ireland and is shared by Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya

UKARA, Tanzania: Grieving families were on Sunday preparing to bury victims of Tanzania’s devastating ferry disaster, with more than 200 confirmed dead after the crowded boat capsized in Lake Victoria.
Hopes were fading of finding any more survivors three days after the ferry sank on Thursday, even after rescuers pulled out an engineer who had managed to find refuge in an air pocket in the upturned vessel.
“We are going to start burying bodies not yet identified by relatives,” said John Mongella, governor of Mwanza region, where the MV Nyerere ferry had been coming in to dock on the island of Ukara.
“The (burial) ceremony will be overseen by Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa, in the presence of clergy members of different denominations,” Mongella said Saturday on TBC 1 public television.
Divers were also set to continue their grim search in the waters around the boat, where late Saturday they were watched by anxious crowds gathered just meters (yards) away on Ukara’s shore.
Mongella said 218 people had been confirmed dead, while 41 escaped the tragedy with their lives — a total figure far above the official capacity of the boat, which was in theory only able to carry 101 passengers.
One survivor was an engineer who shut himself into a “special room” with enough air for him to stay alive until he was found, said local lawmaker Joseph Mkundi.
Transport Minister Isack Kamwelwe said on Saturday that 172 of the victim’s bodies had been identified by relatives.
State television cited witnesses reporting that more than 200 people had boarded the ferry at Bugolora, a town on the larger Ukerewe Island. It was market day, which usually sees the vessel packed with people and goods.
Witnesses told AFP the ferry sank when passengers rushed to one side to disembark as it approached the dock. Others blamed the captain, saying he had made a brusque maneuver.
Dozens of wooden coffins lined the shore on Saturday, waiting to be seen by families as police and volunteers sought to keep hundreds of curious locals at bay.
Aisha William came to collect the body of her husband. “He left on Tuesday around noon, but he never came home. I do not know how I am going to raise my two children,” she said.
Ahmed Caleb, a 27-year-old trader, railed at a tragedy “which could have been prevented. I’ve lost my boss, friends, people I went to school with,” he sighed.
The aging vessel, whose hull and propellers were all that remained visible above water, was also carrying cargo, including sacks of maize, bananas and cement, when it capsized.
Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Friday ordered the arrest of the ferry’s management and declared four days of national mourning.
In a speech broadcast on TBC 1, Magufuli said “it appears clear that the ferry was overloaded,” adding that the government would cover the funeral expenses of the victims.
With a surface area of 70,000 square kilometers, oval-shaped Lake Victoria is roughly the size of Ireland and is shared by Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya.
It is not uncommon for ferries to capsize in the lake, and the number of fatalities is often high due to a shortage of life jackets and the fact that many people in the region cannot swim.