Daphne Caruana Galizia had 42 pending libel cases

The slain journalist had no shortage of enemies in Malta, having penned critical, and sometimes hurtful stories about many prominent politicians and businessmen

Homicide investigators are understood to be working through a list of suspects in relation to the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

She was no stranger to libel cases. At the last count, Caruana Galizia had 42 pending civil cases against her.

Among the most recent and most salient were a string of cases filed by leader of the Opposition Adrian Delia, whom Caruana Galizia had linked to a prostitution racket in Soho.

She had insisted that Delia had kept the proceeds of a number of West London brothels in a bank account bearing his name. Delia insists the account was a client account and that he discontinued his relationship with the company owning the property after becoming aware of the property’s use.

Other plaintiffs include the Jordanian businessman behind the American University of Malta project. Hani Hasan Naji Salah sued for libel over an article in which Caruana Galizia suggested that he had met with former Times of Malta boss Adrian Hillman to discuss money laundering.  

Another pending libel case is that of Phyllis Muscat, former head of the Commonwealth task force (CHOGM), who sued Caruana Galizia over claims that she had received commissions from hotels hosting delegates.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat also has a pending libel case, in which he is contesting Caruana Galizia’s report that his wife was connected to an offshore company in Panama.

db Group owner Silvio Debono has no fewer than 19 pending libel cases against the journalist, filed in the wake of the invoices scandal that engulfed the Nationalist Party this year.

There are also the libel cases filed by Economy Minister Chris Cardona over allegations in connection with an official business visit in Germany. This case had caused widespread controversy after the minister sought to freeze Caruana Galizia’s bank accounts before the case even started.

Caruana Galizia’s next court sitting in the libel filed by minister Konrad Mizzi over a story alleging that he had left the offices of Pilatus Bank late at night was in three weeks’ time.

Mizzi had filed another libel case with his wife Sai Mizzi Liang in 2014 over an article that alleged he was having an affair with his communications coordinator, Lindsey Gambin. Gambin had also sued.

This year Caruana Galizia had been served with a string of financially crippling garnishee orders, accompanying libel suits filed by Economy Minister Chris Cardona and his associate Joe Gerada over a story she had published. The journalist alleged the men were in a German brothel while on an official visit to the country. A public fundraising campaign provided the cash to release the garnishee orders.

She had been hit with another libel case, filed in June last year, by Alfred Mifsud, then deputy governor of the Central Bank of Malta after Caruana Galizia alleged he had received kick backs over an IT project when he was chairman of Mid Med Bank in the 1990s.

Former PN MP Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando had been another target of Caruana Galizia’s Running Commentary blog – both he and his relatives had been subjected to ridicule with the aid of some unsightly Facebook snapshots. He also has a pending libel case against the slain blogger, over comments posted beneath one of the articles.