(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has expressed his condolence for the killing of a Maltese journalist, who was investigating corruption among leading politicians in the tiny Mediterranean island nation. “Saddened by the tragic death of Daphne Caruana Galizia, His Holiness Pope Francis offers prayers for her eternal rest, and asks you kindly to convey his condolences to her family,” Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin wrote in a telegram sent on the Pope’s behalf to Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta. “The Holy Father also assures you of his spiritual closeness to the Maltese people at this difficult moment, and implores God’s blessings upon the nation,” the cardinal wrote.
A well-known blogger and fierce critic of the government and the opposition, Caruana Galizia was killed on Monday in a powerful blast that wrecked her car as she was leaving her house in the rural north of the overwhelmingly Catholic nation. Maltese police said on Thursday they believe Caruana Galizia was killed by a remotely-controlled bomb attached under her car.
The assassination of the 53-year-old journalist has shocked the nation and her three sons have called for the resignation of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. Caruana Galizia was one of Muscat's harshest critics, revealing connections by his wife and members of his government to shell companies in Panama, allegations which the Muscats have denied.
The European Union, of which Malta is a member, as well a group of U.N. human rights experts have demanded a prompt, independent investigation into the murder.