Arrested In Malta Over Assassination Of Prominent Journalist

Violet Powell
December 5, 2017

Blogger Caruana Galizia, who was 53 when she was killed in a auto bomb attack on October 16, had made repeated and detailed corruption allegations against both Muscat's inner circle and the opposition.

Her murder raised concern within the European Union about the rule of law in Malta, and many saw it as an attack on independent media.

Eight Maltese citizens were arrested because of a "reasonable suspicion" of their involvement in Caruana Galizia's killing, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat told reporters at a news conference.

The journalist focused her reporting for years on investigating political corruption and scandals, and reported on Maltese gangsters and drug trafficking.

Galizia, 53, was murdered on October 16.

Eight people have been arrested in the death of the journalist assassinated in her native Malta after exposing alleged corruption through the Panama Papers.

Half an hour before the explosion, Caruana Galizia wrote on her blog: "There are crooks everywhere you look now".

She had exposed that Mr Muscat's wife Michelle, as well as his energy minister and the government's chief-of-staff, held companies in Panama by looking into the 2016 document leak.

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A little while later, Muscat tweeted that two others had been arrested.

Muscat provided no other concrete information about the arrests or suspects, citing concerns that anything he says could derail any prosecution.

Latching onto a retweet by the government's chief spokesman that several suspects could be charged with Daphne Caruana Galizia's murder, her son has lamented the lack of information given to the family. Farrugia said he wouldn't disclose anything because "I have been already threatened by legal action by the Caruana Galizia family".

Muscat said police and the military were involved in an operation following a weeks-long investigation into the high-profile murder.

The family has lamented in the past of being kept in dark by the police as to the progress of the investigation.

"The investigation appeared to be continuing throughout Monday, as police and armed forces had cordoned off an area in Marsa, a small port town close to Valletta, the capital".

A court hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday, when the police can officially file charges and the suspects can enter a plea. "As soon as I learned about this barbaric act, I said that we will leave no stone unturned".

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