FREEDOM of speech campaigners will hold a vigil outside the Scottish Parliament today in memory of a murdered Maltese journalist.

Daphne Caruana Galizia died in a car bombing in October 2017.

According to reports, the incident happened two weeks after she reported threats against her to police. The 53-year-old investigative writer covered corruption and organised crime.

Today Scottish PEN, which supports freedom of speech for writers, will gather at Holyrood to remember Cuarana Galizia and show “solidarity with at-risk journalists” around the world. The 2pm event, in association with Maltese anti-corruption organisation Il Kenniesa, comes six months after the murder, which will also be marked by events in Malta.

Writing in The National today, Nik Williams, project manager for Scottish PEN, says the death is part of a “larger and more dangerous trend” that has seen reporters threatened or killed in several countries.

This includes Jan Kuciak in the Czech Republic and Yaser Murtaja in Gaza.

Of Caruana Galizia, Williams said: “She died because people wanted her voice silenced.

“But her voice will never be silenced, as long as people remember and champion her journalism and challenge impunity, wherever it lingers, and protect the men and women committed to exposing wrongdoing.”

Caruana Galizia’s death comes in the year Maltese capital Valletta was named European Capital of Culture, sharing the status in a joint award with Leeuwarden in the Netherlands.

However, Williams says the pursuit of numerous libel cases against the deceased woman’s family and concerns about the independence of the investigation into her murder raise concerns about the country’s commitment to scrutiny and transparency.

He states: “Journalists are often the last best hope to ensure the public have all the necessary facts upon which they can make decisions, whether in the polling station or as part of their everyday lives.

“So attacks on journalists are attacks on us; our ability to know more, to unpick falsehoods and establish the true motivations and interests that shape our country and globe.”

In a pre-trial hearing in December, a Maltese court heard the bomb used to kill Caruana Galizia was detonated using a mobile phone signal transmitted from a boat off the coast.

It happened close to her home in the small village of Bidnija and her remains were found by her son Matthew, who heard the explosion and went out to investigate.

Three men – brothers Alfred and George Degiorgio and Vince Muscat – have been charged with the killing.

All deny responsibility and have have requested bail. A decision is expected tomorrow.

Last week Maria Efimova – a Russian whistleblower said to have given details to Caruana Galizia about the wife of Malta’s prime minister while working in a Maltese bank – was released by Greek authorities when they denied an extradition request.

Maltese authorities wanted Maria Efimova to be sent to their country, but judges in Athens dismissed the request, claiming the charges against Efimova were unclear. The Russian is said to have given Caruana Galizia incriminating documents about the wife of Malta’s prime minister while working at the country’s Pilatus Bank.

The papers suggested Michelle Muscat had €1 million in a Panama bank account from a firm connected to the ruling family of Azerbaijan.

She is also said to have provided documents which showed Muscat as the owner of an undeclared company in the Caribbean tax haven. However, Muscat and her husband Joseph Muscat have dismissed the claims.

Efimova left Malta in June. A European arrest warrant was filed on the grounds that she failed to appear in court to face charges of providing fabricated evidence, making false claims against police and defrauding a bank.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that police failed to secure Caruana Galizia’s tablet, used to post on to her Running Commentary blog. The laptop given to investigators was last used in 2015.

A special mass and vigil will be held in St Francis Church, Valletta, tonight.

Hosted by the Civil Society Network, Occupy Justice and other groups, the religious service will be led by Archbishop Charles Scicluna, with the public vigil following at Great Siege Square.

Speakers will include Pauline Ades-Mevel, head of the EU desk of Reporters Without Borders.

Similar events are also expected in London and Brussels.

Ahead of the Edinburgh event, Williams urged the public to “stand up and call for more robust protections for journalists around the world”.