For the murder of a Maltese journalist whose passing in 2017 aroused widespread ire, two brothers have been sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Just hours after entering a not-guilty plea, George and Alfred Degiorgio admitted to murdering 53-year-old Daphne Caruana Galizia.

In October 2017, a car bombing resulted in her death. Many people believe that powerful members of the establishment ordered the murder.

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She exposed corruption networks in Malta and abroad and was regarded as a scathing critic of the government, earning her the moniker “one-woman WikiLeaks”.

By publishing claims linking Joseph Muscat, the then-prime minister, to the Panama Papers scandal, which exposed the use of tax havens by the wealthy, Caruana Galizia essentially started an early election in the year before she passed away.

Two men were charged with providing the car bomb in the attack last year, and another man, Vincent Muscat, was sentenced to 15 years in prison after admitting his role in the murder.

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Maltese businessman Yorgen Fenech is accused of ordering the murder but has not yet been tried; he has said he had nothing to do with it.

Caruana Galizia’s three sons fought openly for her justice and described the sentence as “a break in the clouds.”

The sentence was delivered in front of the family on Friday.

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Robert Abela, the prime minister of Malta, praised it as well, calling the decision “another crucial step towards justice for the Caruana Galizia family.”

The state was found to be responsible for the investigative journalist’s murder following a public investigation. According to the report, the state failed to identify risks to the reporter’s life and take appropriate precautions to avoid them.

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A probe also resulted in Mr. Muscat’s resignation in 2019 after some of his close friends were charged. He has refuted accusations of corruption.

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