9 January 2018
A former anti-corruption investigator, Jonathan Ferris, told BBC that he feared for his life after investigating the murder of Caruana Galizia who was killed in a car bomb near her home on 16 October 2017. Prosecutors are saying that her murder was carried out by hitmen on the orders of someone angered by her reporting. This is stating the obvious.
Home Affairs Minister Michael Farrugia said that the €1 million reward to net Daphne Caruana Galizia’s killers was still on the table. Dr Farrugia said it was investigations by the Malta police, aided by the Security Service and assisted by foreign experts, that led to the suspects’ arrests, with nobody providing any tip-offs. Three men were detained by the police on the ground that they were party to hatching the bomb plot. This did not mean they were the ones who committed the crime. Friends of the journalist do not believe she investigated the three men charged with her killing. She has never mentioned these three persons in any of her 20,000 articles.
At the time of her death, Caruana Galizia was investigating Maltese prime minister’s chief of staff, Keith Schembri, and a senior minister Konrad Mizzi. Both were named in the Panama Papers, a data leak from Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca in 2015. Caruana Galizia said they were both financial beneficiaries of secretive “shell” companies registered in Panama.
Caruana Galizia alleged that a company owned by the Azerbaijani president’s daughter paid $1m to a Panama company ultimately owned by the Maltese prime minister’s wife, Michelle Muscat.
Mr Ferris was working at the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) of Malta’s anti-money laundering agency. He says that while he was looking into the case last year, he was sacked in June from the FIAU. He believes that his sacking was due to political interference. FIAU said that the dismissal was based “solely on an objective and comprehensive performance assessment”.
Mr Ferris has now threatened to reveal information he discovered if something happened to him. He has divided his information into six parts and has put them in six envelopes kept by his family members and close friends.
Other than his sacking, Mr Ferris has not told of any attempts on his life.