Police investigating the murder of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia have arrested eight suspects, Malta’s Prime Minister said today,
The suspects, all Maltese citizens, were arrested this morning, given a “reasonable suspicion” of their involvement in Caruana Galizia’s murder in a car bomb, said premier Joseph Muscat.
The arrests, made in an operation coordinated among the Police Corps, the Armed Forces of Malta and the Security Services, were the first break in the investigation into the murder, which took place on 16 October and has drawn widespread outrage and condemnation.
Investigators have 48 hours to question the suspects to decide whether to seek charges, in accordance with Maltese law.
Muscat provided no other concrete information about the arrests or suspects, citing concerns that anything he said could derail any prosecution.
Caruana Galizia, whose reporting focused heavily on corruption on the EU island nation, was killed when a bomb destroyed her car moments after she had driven away from her home.
Europol, the European Union’s police agency, sent a team of organised crime experts to help Maltese police investigate the killing, joining the FBI and Dutch forensic experts.
Just before her death, Ms Caruana Galizia, 53, had posted on her closely followed blog, Running Commentary, that there were “crooks everywhere” in Malta.
The island nation has a reputation as a tax haven in the European Union and has attracted companies and money from outside Europe.
The journalist focused her reporting for years on investigating political corruption and scandals, and reported on Maltese mobsters and drug trafficking.
She also wrote about Maltese links to the so-called Panama Papers leaks about offshore financial havens.