Arrested In Malta Over Assassination Of Prominent Journalist

Malta's Prime Minister Joseph Muscat gives a statement announcing the arrest of eight suspects in the Oct. 16 murder of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in Valletta Malta Monday Dec.4

Arrested In Malta Over Assassination Of Prominent Journalist

Three men were charged Tuesday with the murder of campaigning Maltese journalist and blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia, killed in a horrific vehicle bombing on the Mediterranean island on October 16.

Ms Caruana Galizia died instantly when her auto was blown up as she drove out of her home on 16 October.

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

"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.

All of the suspects are from Malta and most have criminal records, NPR's Frank Langfitt reports, citing Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. Farrugia said he wouldn't disclose anything because "I have been already threatened by legal action by the Caruana Galizia family".

Caruana Galizia's son Matthew, who is also a reporter, told the Guardian his family were "in the dark" about the arrests and had been given no further information beyond a phone call from a magistrate's office after the arrests were made public.

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The journalist's family alleged last month that Farrugia had put the investigation at risk by sharing confidential information with lawmakers.

Muscat "appears to view the investigation into Daphne Caruana Galizia's assassination as a marketing exercise for his government and not as a contract killing, which has left surviving family members wondering what happened and how justice can be truly served", the family said in a statement. According to Maltese law, the police have 48 hours to question the suspects, charge them or release them. Military and police used sniffer dogs to search.

The journalist ran a blog, Running Commentary, in which she had posted controversial articles. The suspects then can either plead innocent or guilty.

"Caruana Galizia, a longtime columnist for the Malta Independentand prolific blogger, had spent more than a year perusing the documents included in the Panama Papers, a massive data leak that exposed the offshore bank accounts of politicians around the world". She was known for her investigative reporting, which focused on corruption, including among Malta's elite.

Many top officials had sued her over her reporting.

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