World News

Malta announces 10 arrests in journalist murder case

Malta announces 10 arrests in journalist murder case

The 53-year-old was known for her blog accusing top politicians of corruption.

Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed in October when the auto she was driving exploded near her home, with loved ones blasting the government that she needled with her blog.

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

Europol, the European Union's police agency, sent a team of organised crime experts to help Maltese police investigate the assassination, joining the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Dutch forensic experts.

As NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reported in October, Caruana Galizia's independently operated website "often drew more readers than the total circulation of Malta's newspapers".

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.

"Through her blog, 'Running Commentary, ' she made a name for herself exposing corruption in a nation famous for it - and collecting enemies along the way".

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She also wrote about Maltese links to the so-called Panama Papers leaks about offshore financial havens.

She died in the blast that wrecked her vehicle as she was leaving her house, throwing debris and body parts into a nearby field.

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.

Ms Caruana Galizia was named by Politico magazine among the 28 Europeans who are "shaping, shaking and stirring" Europe. The European Commission has called on Malta to get to the bottom of the crime.

She said documents in a small Malta-based bank showed that Muscat's wife was the beneficial owner of a company in Panama, and that large sums of money had been moved between the company and bank accounts in Azerbaijan. It reads, "We will not be silenced".

They denied the charges and Mr Muscat was suing Galizia for libel at the time of her death. Muscat easily won reelection. Shortly afterward, he tweeted that two others had been arrested.


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