Ten arrests over vehicle bomb murder of Maltese journalist

Ten arrests over vehicle bomb murder of Maltese journalist

Maltese police have arrested 10 people allegedly connected to the murder of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia who died in a vehicle bomb blast two months ago.

"During this operation, 8 persons were arrested" the statement said, adding that they faced "reasonable suspicion in connection with involvement in the murder" of Caruana Galizia.

Caruana Galizia, 53, was killed on October 16 after a bomb exploded in her auto as she drove away from her home in Mosta, a small town outside the capital, Valletta.

She ran a popular blog in which she relentlessly highlighted cases of alleged high-level corruption targeting politicians from across party lines, including her island nation's links with the so-called Panama Papers document leak.

"Eight of the world's largest media organizations - including The New York Times and the BBC - have demanded the killers be brought to justice".

Muscat called early elections in June seeking a vote of confidence to counter Caruana Galizia's allegations of corruption. Caruana Galizia made plain she didn't trust the island's police or judiciary to adequately investigate numerous wrongdoings she alleged. Muscat ultimately won that election and with it, a second term.

Just before her death, Caruana Galizia, 53, had posted on her closely followed blog, Running Commentary, that there were "crooks everywhere" in Malta. He was not comforted by vows from Maltese authorities that they would do their utmost to investigate the assassination.

Caruana Galizia's family reacted angrily to how the arrests were announced on Monday, saying police should have informed them before the prime minister.

Now, after the first major break in the case, distrust continues to shadow the investigation.

Overall, Mr Muscat gave nearly no details, citing concerns any information could compromise prospects to prosecute the case. Farrugia said he wouldn't disclose anything else because 'I have been already threatened by legal action by the Caruana Galizia family'.

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

Addressing an urgent press conference in Castille, Muscat refused to provide details on the arrests, including on whether the people are suspected to be the executors or the masterminds, arguing such details risk prejudicing the investigations.

Television reported that Caruana Galizia had filed a complaint to the police two weeks ago to say she had received threats.

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.

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