Daphne Caruana Galizia was reporting on corruption within the political circles of the country, including the Prime Minister and other top officials, before she was murdered in a car bomb attack on October 16.
The government of Malta offered the 1 million euro ($1.18 million) reward to anyone with information about the death of Caruana Galizia.
In a statement, Malta’s government said finding more information on the murder was a “case of extraordinary importance,” that led to the “unprecedented measure,” of offering a reward and full protection to “whomever [sic] comes forward with information leading to the identification of those responsible” for Caruana Galizia’s death.
“The government is fully committed to solving the murder … (and) bringing those responsible to justice,” the government added in the statement.
Although the Maltese government has offered a reward for information on crimes before, this is the first case of murder in which this step has been taken. Over the last ten years, there have been 15 instances of Mafia-style bombings or other related attacks in Malta, most of which have gone unsolved.
Top European Union officials have named the killing of Caruana Galizia an attack on journalistic freedom, insisting that the small member nation ensures the rule of law is upheld.
Fox News reports Caruana Galizia’s car was blown up as she was driving near her home.
Her husband and three children didn’t immediately comment on the government’s decision, however, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat reportedly asked Caruana Galizia’s family for an “endorsement” for offering the reward.
“This is how he can get it: show political responsibility and resign … for failing to uphold our fundamental freedoms” to the point that Caruana Galizia “no longer felt safe walking down the street,” the family said in response to the decision.
They also called for the replacement of the top police commissioner and the attorney general. “Then we won’t need a million-euro reward and our mother wouldn’t have died in vain,” the family said.
Caruana Galizia had uncovered links to the Panama Papers leaks, alleging that Muscat’s wife, among other things, had an offshore account which was used to transfer money from top officials in Azerbaijan.
Libel suits had been filed against the investigative journalist before her death, most notably by Muscat’s chief-of-staff and a minister.
In Saturday’s statement, the government said information on the murder could be passed on to police confidentially, and the reward could still be claimed, as long as it “is corroborated with [sic] other independent evidence which would lead to the identification of the person or persons who committed this act.”
Featured Image Via BBC