Daphne Caruana Galizia, an influential blogger in Malta who had reported on political corruption, was killed by a car bomb on October 16. A Maltese journalist said she was as well-known as the Pope and seen as either a “liar” or a “crusader.”

A Maltese blogger who had infuriated politicians and businessmen with her investigations into corruption on the island has been killed by a car bomb.

Daphne Caruana Galizia’s death on Monday, October 16 has shocked the tiny island nation.

Mario Cacciottolo, a Maltese journalist who has just returned to work on the island, said it was a “momentous” occasion and a “game-changer.”

“It’s a historic moment in a horrible way. She was as well-known as the Pope in Malta. People either hated her and called her a liar or they loved her and called her a crusader. There has been nothing like this since the 1970s and 1980s when there were two political murders, neither of which were ever solved,” Mr. Cacciottolo told.

​Ms. Caruana Galizia, 53, was killed when the rental car she was driving blew up shortly after she left her home in Bidnija. One of her sons heard the explosion and rushed outside.

Mr. Cacciottolo said there would be a “huge parade of suspects.”

“It might look as if it was linked to Maltese politics. But the net they will cast will have to be very wide because she had recently been looking into money laundering. There are suspicions, voiced by people like Daphne, that Malta is a fertile place for money laundering, but nothing’s been proven. Because the economy is booming it has become an attractive place for money laundering because there is so much legitimate money sloshing around and she had been looking into that,” Mr. Cacciottolo told.

​The killing has echoes of two other assassinations which had huge impacts for their countries — the mafia car bombing of Judge Giovanni Falcone in Italy in 1992 and the drive-by shooting of investigative journalist Veronica Guerin in the Republic of Ireland in 1996.

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