The family of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia expressed outrage Tuesday at reports that two men charged for her murder want a pardon in return for revealing who commissioned it.
Brothers George and Alfred Degiorgio, two of out of three people accused of carrying out the 2017 assassination, are ready to implicate a former government minister, according to letters sent to the Maltese president.
Their lawyer William Cuschieri told the MaltaToday newspaper that the pardon application should be treated fairly and "not discarded because it mentions involvement of certain individuals who occupy or occupied certain posts."
But the Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation, which her family set up in her honour, reacted: "Past crimes should not be cashed as currency for killers to escape justice for murder."
"Crimes should be solved and criminals brought to justice, but not at the expense of denying Daphne the justice she deserves. She has already given too much for that," the foundation added in its statement.
The Degiorgio brothers were charged for the journalist's murder along with a third man, Vincent Muscat, who last month pleaded guilty in court and was sentenced to 15 years in jail.
Caruana Galizia, who has been described as a "one-woman WikiLeaks", was a vocal critic of Malta's political elites, whom she accused of cronyism and corruption via her blog, Running Commentary.
On October 16, 2017, she was killed in a car bomb attack near her home, hours after posting a message that read, "There are crooks everywhere you look now. The situation is desperate."
The assassination sparked international outrage and put Malta, the European Union's smallest member state, on the spot over its apparent rule-of-law failings.
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat resigned over the affair in January 2020, following widespread anger and mass protests over his perceived efforts to protect friends and allies from the investigation.