Published: Tue, December 05, 2017
World Media | By June Phelps

Eight arrested in Malta over murder of journalist

Eight arrested in Malta over murder of journalist

In October, a local police source said investigators believed powerful Semtex explosives might have been used in the killing, adding that if proven, it would be a first for Malta.

He also clarified that not all those arrested had been previously known to the police.

Muscat provided no other concrete information about the arrests or suspects, citing concerns that anything he says could derail any prosecution.

Two more people have been arrested since Prime Minister Joseph Muscat's press conference this morning. "When the handling of an investigation is not sound, it is hard to have faith in its outcome".

The investigation appeared to be continuing, as police and armed forces had cordoned off an area in Marsa, a small town close to Valletta, the capital.

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Police have 48 hours to questions those arrested.

A court hearing was set for Tuesday, when the police can officially file charges.

Malta's police force called in experts from across the world to help them solve the crime, including from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Giving a ministerial statement in parliament this evening, the Prime Minister said that the police would be giving more information in the future, and all information gathered by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, EUROPOL and the National Investigation Bureau of Finland, would be revealed.

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

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The island nation has a reputation as a tax haven in the European Union and has attracted companies and money from outside Europe.

Just last week, a visiting delegation of European Parliament lawmakers left the island expressing concerns over the rule of law in the tiny EU member country and issued a warning that the "perception of impunity in Malta can not continue".

Caruana Galizia also covered criminal gangs and drug trafficking and was responsible for exposing Malta's links with the so-called Panama Papers document leak. In the course of her investigations, Caruana Galizia accused several high-level Maltese officials of laundering kickbacks from wealthy Russians and Azerbaijani leaders - allegations those Maltese officials firmly denied.

In response, Frans Timmermans, vice-president of the commission, urged the authorities to leave "no stone unturned" in the case.

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