Two brothers have been jailed for 40 years for killing a Maltese journalist, whose 2017 death sparked global anger.

George and Alfred Degiorgio admitted to murdering Daphne Caruana Galizia, 53, just hours after pleading not guilty.

She was killed by a car bomb in October 2017. Many suspect the killing was ordered by top establishment figures.

Known as the “one-woman WikiLeaks”, she uncovered networks of corruption in Malta and abroad and was known as a harsh critic of the government.

The year Caruana Galizia died, she effectively triggered an early election by publishing allegations linking Joseph Muscat, the then-prime minister, to the Panama Papers scandal, which exposed the use of tax havens by the rich.

Last year, two men were charged with supplying the car bomb in the attack, while another man, Vincent Muscat, was jailed for 15 years when he admitted involvement in the murder.

The man who is accused of ordering the killing, Maltese businessman Yorgen Fenech, is yet to stand trial – he denies any involvement.

One of Caruana Galizia’s three sons, Paul, who publicly campaigned for justice on her behalf, said the sentencing was “a break in the clouds”. The family were in court on Friday to hear the sentence handed down.

It was also welcomed by Maltese Prime Minister, Robert Abela, who said the judgement was “another important step towards justice for the Caruana Galizia family”.

A public inquiry into the assassination of the investigative journalist found the state responsible for her death. The report said the state had failed to recognise risks to the reporter’s life and take reasonable steps to avoid them.

An investigation also led to the resignation of Mr Muscat in 2019 after his close associates were implicated. He has denied corruption allegations.

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