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Malta murder ‘whistleblower’ hands herself in

March 20, 2018

A Russian national and alleged whistleblower in a Maltese anti-corruption scandal has handed herself over to Greek authorities, a police source said Tuesday.

The subject of two EU arrest warrants, Maria Efimova surrendered at the main police station on Athens’ Syntagma Square, the source told AFP confirming a report by the daily Kathimerini.

Efimova, who worked for Maltese bank Pilatus, feared for her life, the newspaper said.

She was set to go before a judge after coming to Athens from the island of Crete, where she fled with her husband and two children after being accused of embezzlement on Malta and Cyprus, the report added.

Efimova is widely believed to be a key source of Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, killed in a car bomb last October as she lifted the lid on widespread corruption in her homeland.

After the killing, for which three suspects are in custody, her sons called on Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to resign, alleging he was overseeing a mafia state.

According to the EU Observer site, Efimova informed the European Parliament of her case last December leading Portuguese lawmaker Ana Gomes to urge EU states to offer her protection.

Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.