World

Ten arrests over auto bomb murder of Maltese journalist

Ten arrests over auto bomb murder of Maltese journalist

Ms Caruana Galizia, whose reporting focused heavily on corruption on the European Union island nation, was killed when a bomb destroyed her vehicle as she was driving near her home. They were the first known break in a crime that shocked Malta and motivated European Union officials to look into the EU island nation's laws and government.

Caruana Galizia also covered criminal gangs and drug trafficking and was responsible for exposing Malta's links with the so-called Panama Papers document leak.

Muscat called early elections in June seeking a vote of confidence to counter Caruana Galizia's allegations of corruption.

'Everyone knows Caruana Galizia was a harsh critic of mine, both politically and personally, but nobody can justify this barbaric act in any way, ' Muscat said.

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.

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

Caruana Galizia's family reacted angrily to how the arrests were announced on Monday, saying police should have informed them before the prime minister. Farrugia said he wouldn't disclose anything because "I have been already threatened by legal action by the Caruana Galizia family".

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

The head of the Parliament's delegation, socialist lawmaker Ana Gomes, said the murder "was aimed at instilling fear in everyone, especially those involved in investigating and prosecuting cases of money laundering and corruption".

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, as police and armed forces had cordoned off an area in Marsa, a small town close to Valletta, the capital.

The police have 48 hours to question the suspects, arraign them or release them.

A court hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday, when the police can officially file charges and the suspects can enter a plea.


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