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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Kieren Williams

Killer who blew up journalist let out of jail for party with family

A killer sentenced for 40 years in jail after being convicted for blowing up the journalist who led the Panama Papers investigation was let out of jail for a family party.

George Degiorgio was let out of prison in Malta, on Friday evening, to attend a family baptism where he was pictured smiling with loved ones.

But the 59-year-old was sentenced to 40 years behind bars last year after he admitted blowing up anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

The Times of Malta obtained pictures of the criminal smiling and posing for pictures at the party with relatives, who had drinks in their hands.

They alleged that at least one person suspected to be heavily involved with organised crime was present at the party.

Degiorgio’s jaunt was legal and approved by prison authorities despite objections from Malta’s Attorney General.

Along with brother Alfred, George Degiorgio pleaded guilty to blowing up anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia (Copyright unknown)

He was even accompanied by an escort throughout his few hours out that evening.

The baptism ceremony took place at 5pm, followed by a reception at 6.30pm and he was ordered back to the prison by 9pm.

Representatives for Degiorgio told the Times that everything was “done legally”.

Degiorgio pleaded guilty, along with his brother Alfred Degiorgio to blowing up the car of Panama Papers journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

The sons of murdered journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia carry the coffin of their mother out of the church on November 3, 2017, after her funeral ceremony (AFP/Getty Images)
Journalist Daphne Capuana Galizia led the Panama Papers investigation (AFP/Getty Images)

She led the Panama Papers investigation and was described as a "one-woman WikiLeaks". Her blogs often got more readers than the combined circulation of the country's papers.

The brutal killing targeted the renowned anti-corruption blogger, 53, as she left her home in northern Malta in October 2017.

She hadn’t written about any of them, but Degiorgio revealed last year he was paid to murder the journalist and described it as “just business”.

He added had he known who Caruana Galizia was he would have asked for more money.

During the interview on a podcast, he said: “If I knew, I would have gone for €10 million, not €150,000.”

He belatedly said “of course, I feel sorry” for the murder.

The aftermath of the brutal bomb attack (AFP/Getty Images)

Denzel Degiorgio, Degiorgio’s son, reportedly posted on social media where he called his dad “head of the local mafia” and said “he should be allowed to spend time with his family”.

Following further comments where Denzel Degiorgio said “money talks” on a Facebook post, he was detained.

Local media reported that he was seen walking into the HQ of the Financial Crimes Investigations Department over the weekend.

Caruana Galizia’s son, spoke out fiercely online against his mother’s killer and his temporary release, going as far to accuse him of further murders.

Her car was blown up close to her home, she left behind a husband and three sons (AFP/Getty Images)

He said: “Society owes him [George Degiorgio] nothing but the bare minimum - the law grants no right to prisoners to attend parties and drink champagne in public places - yet the prison director went far above the minimum in gifting him that. That decision is wrong irrespective of my family or how we feel.”

Prisoners are allowed out under specific circumstances, such as a funeral or notable family event, but letting the convicted murderer out faced fierce backlash.

Images from the party seemingly show him enjoying his time with guests and his family as he dressed up smartly for the event.

Alongside the brutal murder of Caruana, Degiorgio was found guilty just this month of money laundering, adding four more years to his already lengthy jail time.

He also faces ongoing charges over the 2015 murder of lawyer Carmel Chircop

Prime Minister Robert Abela called the court’s decision to let Degiorgio out “one of the most insensitive decisions” made by the court.

Lawyers for Degiorgio criticised the comment and said speculation around the prison leave could affect one of the three trials he currently faces.

Malta Attorney General and Malta Correctional Services Agency have both been approached for comment.

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