Men charged with murder of Malta journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia

Men charged with murder of Malta journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia

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.

The FBI, Europol, Finnish and Dutch security service personnel offered aid to the Maltese police.

They are expected to be arraigned in the coming hours, but so far no official time has been given.

Muscat initially announced eight arrests at a press conference, then later said on Twitter that two more had been apprehended. She also wrote about Maltese links to the so-called Panama Papers leaks about offshore financial havens.

In her final post on Running Commentary, the blog she had written since 2008, Caruana Galizia voiced despair over the cronyism and sleaze she saw engulfing Malta.

Her most explosive reports included allegations that members of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat's inner circle benefited from kickbacks on business deals and a controversial passports-for-investment scheme. The other seven have been released on police bail pending a probe of other evidence.

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"Caruana Galizia's critics called her a force of nature who had on at least one occasion nearly single-handedly brought the government to collapse".

A top Italian prosecutor, Carmelo Zuccaro, has said he believes the murder could be linked to an investigation he is leading into a fuel-smuggling operation spanning Libya, Malta and Italy and involving organised crime groups in Sicily.

Responding to a public letter from eight of the world's largest media organisations including the New York Times, BBC and the Guardian, the first vice-president of the European Union commission, Frans Timmermans, last month issued a strong warning to Malta. He was not comforted by vows from Maltese authorities that they would do their utmost to investigate the assassination.

Muscat said Monday of the slaying: "As I stated as soon as I learned about this barbaric act, we will leave no stone unturned to get this case solved".

"Her reportage took aim even at the pinnacles of Maltese power: Earlier this year she reported that Michelle Muscat, wife of Malta's prime minister, secretly owned a mysterious company that had received more than $1 million from Azerbaijan".

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