Eight suspects arrested in assassination of Panama Papers journalist

by Abel Hampton December 5, 2017, 1:09
Eight suspects arrested in assassination of Panama Papers journalist

Ten suspects have been arrested over the 16 October auto bomb murder of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, Malta's prime minister has announced.

This morning, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced that 10 people have been arrested on suspicion that they were behind the attack.

The suspects were captured in a joint operation by the armed forces, police and security services, and they are all previously known to the police, Muscat said at a press conference, adding that the police now had 24 hours to charge them.

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

On her Running Commentary blog, Caruana Galizia had relentlessly reported on alleged corruption among politicians across party lines.

She also wrote about Maltese links to the so-called Panama Papers leaks about offshore financial havens.

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

The force of the blast reduced her auto to pieces and catapulted the journalist's body into a nearby field, witnesses said.

Malta has a population of 400,000 and is the European Union's smallest state.

Ms Caruana Galizia was named by Politico magazine among the 28 Europeans who are "shaping, shaking and stirring" Europe.

"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".

Muscat called early elections in June seeking a vote of confidence to counter Caruana Galizia's allegations of corruption. It reads, "We will not be silenced". Muscat easily won reelection. Caruana Galizia made plain she didn't trust the island's police or judiciary to adequately investigate numerous wrongdoings she alleged.

Half an hour before the explosion tore into her auto, Galizia wrote on her blog: "There are crooks everywhere you look now". Shortly afterward, he tweeted that two others had been arrested. It gave no further information.

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