Malta blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia killed in auto bomb attack

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A Maltese investigative journalist who had exposed her island nation's links with the so-called Panama Papers document leak has been killed as a bomb destroyed her auto near her home.

Journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, 53, was killed in the explosion as her vehicle blew up.

Daphne Caruana Galizia ran a popular blog that exposed high-level corruption, including those at the very top. Politico described her as "a one-woman WikiLeaks, crusading against untransparency and corruption in Malta".

He has always denied any wrongdoing and promised to quit if any evidence emerges of his family having secret offshore bank accounts used to stash kickbacks - as Caruana Galizia had alleged.

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Speaking after her death, Malta's president Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca said: 'In these moments, when the country is shocked by such a vicious attack, I call on everyone to measure their words, to not pass judgement and to show solidarity'.

'Everyone knows Ms Caruana Galizia was a harsh critic of mine, both politically and personally, but nobody can justify this barbaric act in any way, ' he said at a press conference.

Caruana Galizia, 53, had spent the past year publishing stories about allegations of corruption involving Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and his closest allies.

Both Muscat and his wife denied the allegations.

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After the election Caruana Galizia turned her sights on Nationalist Party leadership candidate Adrian Delia.

"We will not accept an investigation by the Commissioner of Police, the Army commander or the duty magistrate, all of whom were at the heart of criticism by Caruana Galizia", he said.

She was also widely admired in Europe for her investigative reporting.

Galizia - who was named by POLITICO previous year as one of 28 individuals who would have a major impact on Europe in 2017 - was regularly accused by the ruling Labour Party of writing fake news.

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In a statement, Gerard Ryle, director of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, called upon the Maltese authorities to "investigate the murder and bring the perpetrators to justice".

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