Daphne Caruana Galizia: Suspects change pleas to guilty in Malta murder trial

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Two brothers accused of murdering anti-corruption Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia pleaded guilty on Friday, in a remarkable turnaround on the first day of their trial in Valletta.

“They pronounce themselves guilty,” AFP quoted Alfred and George Degiorgio’s lawyer, Simon Micallef Stafrace, as saying. 

The trial of the two brothers opened in Malta on Friday, a case that has rocked the European Union’s smallest state and horrified its neighbours.

Earlier the Degiorgio brothers — suspected of making, planting and detonating the bomb that killed the journalist — had pleaded not guilty to the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

But as proceedings got underway, they changed their pleas to guilty in exchange for a more lenient sentence.

Paul Caruana Galizia, one of the murdered journalist’s three sons, welcomed the move, describing it in a Tweet as “a break in the clouds”.

Daphne Caruana Galizia denounced in her blog Running Commentary the endemic corruption on the small Mediterranean archipelago, a former British colony that joined the European Union in 2004.

Her death at the age of 53 on 16 October 2017 sparked an international wave of indignation and led to the resignation of the prime minister at the time.

In an interview with Reuters earlier this year, George Degiorgio confessed to the crime. A lawyer for the brothers also said the two men were seeking a pardon in return for divulging “everything we know about other murders, bombs and crimes”.

More details to follow.