10 arrests over vehicle bomb killing of Malta journalist

Malta arrests 10 over journalist's killing

10 arrests over vehicle bomb killing of Malta journalist

Police in Malta have arrested 10 suspects over the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, the country's prime minister has said, almost two months after the anti-corruption journalist was killed by a powerful vehicle bomb.

Caruana Galizia, 53, was killed October 16 when a bomb destroyed her vehicle as she was driving near her home.

Muscat said a joint team of police, military and security services made the arrests following a almost seven-week investigation carried out with help from the FBI, Europol and Finnish intelligence.

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Muscat, who was a frequent target of Caruana Galizia's blog reports along with others in his inner circle, said he could give no further details of the arrests, the suspects or the evidence against them, but offered his "personal commitment" that those responsible for the killing would be found.

"Last month, her family had alleged that Farrugia had divulged confidential information that could hamper the investigation".

Ms Caruana Galizia's husband, Peter, attended the hearing. The minister brushed off the allegation, but the family said it was prepared to take legal action to prevent the government from sabotaging the case. Police now have 48 hours to interrogate the suspects and either charge or release them. The investigation appeared to be continuing Monday as police and military members cordoned off an area in Marsa, a small port town close to Valletta, the capital of Malta.

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On November 22, however, President Duterte said in a national speech that he was considering revising that decision. Several witnesses, including the taxi driver, claimed to have witnessed the killing.

Caruana Galizia's son called her death "no ordinary murder", writing on Facebook, "we are a people at war against the state and organized crime, which have become indistinguishable".

"A number of people who could be implicated continue to receive political cover for crimes they are widely reported to have committed", read a statement from the family according to The New York Times. Authorities, including anti-Mafia investigators in nearby Italy, worry that Malta is eyed by criminals on the lookout for money-laundering schemes. She was known for her investigative reporting, which focused on corruption, including among Malta's elite.

Galizia was following leads from the Panama Papers, which were leaked in 2015 and show how the world's rich use offshore firms to hide their wealth.

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