Arrested in Daphne Caruana Galizia murder case

Dec 05, 2017, 01:07
Arrested in Daphne Caruana Galizia murder case

Ten Maltese suspects were arrested Monday over the vehicle bomb slaying of a prominent investigative journalist, the prime minister and other authorities said, about six weeks after the assassination that shocked Malta and drew European Union pressure to ensure rule of law here.

Ms Caruana Galizia, whose reporting focused heavily on corruption on the European Union island nation, was killed when a bomb destroyed her auto as she was driving near her home. Local authorities received assistance from Dutch investigators, the FBI as well as Europol to investigate this high-profile murder.

Her criticism was also levelled at Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and his aides, who she accused of being linked to offshore companies and payments from the government of Azerbaijan.

Police now have 48 hours to interrogate the suspects and arraign them in court where they will have to present initial evidence.

Following the death, the Maltese government offered a €1m (£890,000) reward for information about Caruana Galizia's murder.

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

All of the suspects are Maltese nationals and most have a criminal record, the Prime Minister said, without providing any further details.

Malta has a population of 400,000 and is the European Union's smallest state.

Ms Caruana Galizia had been sued for libel because of various articles she wrote on her blog Running Commentary, and she had filed a report with police two weeks ago that she was receiving threats.

Caruana Galizia was highlighted by politics website Politico as one of 28 individuals who would have a major impact on Europe in 2017 after her work in exposing corruption within Malta's political scene.

In a statement issued soon after the explosion, Muscat called the incident "barbaric" and said it "goes against civilization and dignity". In the course of her investigations, Caruana Galizia accused several high-level Maltese officials of laundering kickbacks from wealthy Russians and Azerbaijani leaders - allegations those Maltese officials firmly denied.

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