Malta: 10 Suspects Arrested Over Murder of Journalist
Maltese police arrested 10 people suspected of being involved in the killing of investigative reporter Daphne Caruana Galizia, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced on Monday.
Caruana Galizia died after a bomb that was planted under her car exploded on Oct. 16. She exposed alleged corruption amongst high-level officials on her popular blog Running Commentary. She also wrote on organized crime and money laundering. Her blog often received more traffic than readership for all of Malta’s newspapers combined, reported NPR.
The prime minister announced at a press conference that eight suspects were arrested but later tweeted that authorities detained two more suspects.
Muscat’s government - accused of incompetence and political meddling - has been under public and EU pressure to make progress in the investigation.
Thousands rallied in remembrance of the journalist, and protested for justice following her death, which her son claimed was “no ordinary murder.”
The FBI, Europol, Finnish and Dutch security service personnel offered aid to the Maltese police. The arrests are the first visible signs of action toward justice for the journalist.
Malta’s government offered a $US 1.2 million reward for pertinent information.
All ten suspects are from Malta and most have prior criminal records. Muscat claimed there was a “reasonable suspicion” the detained were involved in the murder.
The family of Caruana Galizia was not notified of the arrests beyond seeing media reports and the PM’s tweets. They critiqued the detainments saying that Muscat’s announcement of the detained versus a police press release “prejudice the integrity of the investigation.”
Additionally, “Malta police yet to arrest the known Maltese criminals Daphne Caruana Galizia actually investigated,” wrote Caruana Galizia’s son Paul on Twitter.
“A number of people who could be implicated continue to receive political cover for crimes they are widely reported to have committed,” read a statement from the family according to The New York Times.
Authorities have 48 hours to question those in custody before either charging or releasing them.