The trial of two brothers accused of the murder of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia has opened five years after the anti-corruption reporter was killed in a massive car bomb explosion outside her home.
Alfred and George Degiorgio are charged with setting off the explosive device that killed the 53-year-old journalist. The defendants, who face life imprisonment if convicted, pleaded not guilty.
The courtroom in the capital, Valetta, was packed on Friday with Caruana Galizia’s family members sitting at the front of the public gallery.
In an interview with Reuters news agency earlier this year, George 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”.
Their request for a pardon has not been accepted and the jury of five men and four women have been instructed to consider only what they hear in the courtroom.
According to the indictment, George set off the deadly bomb from a yacht berthed off Malta’s coast as Alfred and another accomplice, Vincent Muscat, acted as spotters. Caruana Galizia died instantly in the blast on October 16, 2017.
“Parts of her body were flung out of the car, while others remained inside the burning vehicle,” the document reads.
The Degiorgios brothers and Muscat were arrested in December 2017 and have been behind bars since. Muscat admitted his involvement in a 2021 plea bargain in return for information and is serving a 15-year jail term.