Statement by Matthew, Andrew and Paul Caruana Galizia:
Malta’s authorities failed to hold Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad to account, leaving our mother, Daphne Caruana Galizia, to do so alone.
Hashemi Nejad threatened our mother relentlessly, claiming she caused his Malta-based bank, Pilatus Bank, reputational damage.
In May last year, Hashemi Nejad brought a $40m lawsuit against our mother in the US without ever notifying her about it. He withdrew the case on 17 October 2017, the day after she was murdered. We found out about this only in January this year.
On the day of her assassination, his lawyers sent letters, which we have seen, to Maltese media threatening similar multi-million dollar lawsuits for reporting on our mother’s investigations.
The US authorities have now ended the impunity with which Hashemi Nejad operated. Their action vindicates our mother’s work, but it has come at a terrible cost. One of our mother’s sources, a woman who worked at Pilatus Bank, now sits in an Athens prison cell, and our mother is dead.
While the Maltese police were pursuing this source with a European arrest warrant obtained on false charges of misappropriation of a few hundred euros, her former employer was facing charges for laundering hundreds of millions.
As if a more damning indictment of the institutional failure in Malta were needed.
Until there is an independent inquiry into Maltese institutional failure, Malta will remain a haven for people like Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad.
Hashemi Nejad may finally face justice for some of what he’s done, which gets us closer than we have ever been to broad justice for our mother’s work.
We wish our mother could have been alive to see it happen.