Malta vehicle bomb kills Panama Papers journalist

She had also exposed Malta's links with the so-called Panama Papers document leak, which revealed the identities of the rich and powerful around the world with offshore holdings in the Central American country.

Caruana Galizia's death resulted from a "barbaric attack" that also amounted to an assault on freedom of expression, Muscat said.

Muscat described Caruana Galizia - who was recently described by Politico as a "one-woman WikiLeaks" - as "one of my harshest critics, on a political and personal level".

Archbishop Charles Scicluna paid tribute to the journalist and said that the country had lost "one of the best investigative journalists in Malta".

Caruana Galizia alleged that Muscat's wife, Michelle, was the owner of a company in Panama and that vast sums of money had been transferred between the company and bank accounts in Azerbaijan.

However, both Mr Muscat and his wife denied the accusation and Mr Muscat won reelection.

The US newspaper Politico in 2017 named Caruana Galizia as one of the 28 people who are "shaping, shaking and stirring" Europe.

Caruana Galizia started to contribute regular columns to The Malta Independent and was well-known for her direct style of writing.

On Monday, she had written: "There are crooks everywhere you look now".

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Ms Caruana Galizia filed a police report two weeks ago saying she was receiving threats, police told Maltese news outlets on Monday.

Opposition leader Adrian Delia called the killing a "political murder". Economy Minister Chris Cardona claimed libel when she wrote that he visited a brothel while in Germany on government business.

Ms Galizia's blog relentlessly highlighted cases of alleged corruption, often involving politicians from the Mediterranean island.

Monday evening's Parliament session was scrapped, except for briefings about the bombing scheduled to be given by Muscat and Delia, the opposition leader.

Mr Muscat said he had asked the USA government and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for help investigating the auto bombing.

Daphne Caruana Galizia, 53, died on Monday when a powerful explosive device blew up her vehicle, police said.

Panama Papers: Have the media censored the story?

The Panama Papers refer to the 11.5 million documents that were leaked from large offshore law firm Mossack Fonseca in 2015.

Ms Caruana Galizia took aim at politicians and senior officials from across Malta, seeing the island as a hotbed of corruption.

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