Malta police arrest 10 over blogger's murder

COMPILED FROM WIRE SERVICES
ISTANBUL
Published 04.12.2017 12:31
Updated 04.12.2017 13:57

A total of 10 suspects have been arrested in the Oct. 16 murder of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, Malta's prime minister announced Monday.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that the suspects, all Maltese citizens, were arrested Monday morning, given a "reasonable suspicion" of their involvement in Caruana Galizia's slaying in a car bomb.

Initially, eight people were arrested by the police, but two more suspects were added to the list later.

"An additional 2 persons have been apprehended in #DaphneCaruanaGalizia murder probe, bringing total to 10 arrests," Muscat wrote on Twitter.

"Authorities have all areas of interest under control since early this morning and searches are underway," he added.

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 murder that 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 says 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 as she was driving near her home.

Europol, the European Union's police agency, sent a team of organized crime experts to help Maltese police investigate the assassination, joining the FBI and Dutch forensic experts.

Just before her death, 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.

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