Demonstrators in Malta marked five years since the car bomb murder of anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia on Sunday, two days after two brothers admitted to her killing and were each sentenced to 40 years in prison.
Many of those present carried pictures of Caruana Galizia and Maltese flags. They chanted: "Daphne was right" and "We want full justice".
European Parliament president Roberta Metsola, who is from Malta, laid flowers at the site where the explosion occurred close to Caruana Galizia's home, accompanied by Daphne's husband, their three sons and Maria Falcone, sister of Italian anti-mafia magistrate Giovanni Falcone, who was killed by a car bomb in 1992.
Metsola promised to keep working in support of independent journalism. She said Caruana Galizia was: "A Woman of Steel, because she was a woman of principle, a woman who could tell right from wrong".
"We are responsible to work for the values she worked so hard for. This is also the responsibility of the Maltese State," she added.
An independent public inquiry after the murder had found that the state bore responsibility because it had created a culture of impunity.
No government representatives were present at the demonstration but Prime Minister Robert Abela said earlier that Caruana Galizia's death was a dark episode "that we must learn from". He said the government was determined to see justice served in full.
In a stunning turnaround on the first day of their trial, Alfred and George Degiorgio admitted to murder on Friday and were sentenced to 40 years in prison each.
An accomplice in 2021 admitted his role in Daphne's death in return for information and is serving a 15-year jail term.
Businessman Yorgen Fenech, thought to be the mastermind behind the killing, has been accused of complicity to murder and is awaiting trial. He is pleading not guilty.
Fenech had headed a company which was controversially handed a government contract to build a new power station in 2014.
Caruana Galizia had revealed the existence of a company that allegedly was meant to funnel funds to Panama-registered firms belonging to then energy minister Konrad Mizzi and government chief of staff Keith Schembri.
No evidence that money changed hands has been produced.
A Reuters investigation after her death established that 17 Black belonged to Fenech.
Fenech's arrest in November 2019 led to the resignation of Schembri and Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. Both deny any involvement in the journalist’s murder and have not been prosecuted.
(Reporting by Christopher Scicluna; Editing by Hugh Lawson)