Sunday, 17 December, 2017

10 arrests over murder of Malta blogger

Eight suspects arrested in assassination of Panama Papers journalist Malta arrests eight over blogger murder
Dexter Carr | 05 December, 2017, 02:08

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

"I think today we saw a very importance development in this case", Muscat said, "but we need to wait for the process to be concluded before we can give all the information - something which I am not at liberty to do now, so as not to prejudice the case".

The operation had taken place in Marsa, Haz-Zebbug and Bugibba, and involved security forces operating on land, the sea, and in the air, Muscat said, as he explained that as police had places of interest under surveillance, he had given a press conference to inform the people about the developments.

The murder shocked the Mediterranean island, the smallest nation in the European Union, and Mr Muscat promised a reward to anyone who came forward with information about the killing. He said that the arrests resulted from a government investigation into the journalist's murder.

Police have 48 hours to questions those arrested.

Maltese media, citing unidentified police sources, said among the suspects were two brothers.

A court hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday, when the police can officially file charges and the suspects can enter a plea. The suspects then can either plead innocent or guilty.

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

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

She was well-known in Malta as a journalist who ran a popular blog that doggedly reported claims of corruption among leading politicians.

Just last week, a visiting delegation of European Parliament politicians 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".

Many top officials had sued her over her reporting.

Caruana Galizia accused senior figures in both government and opposition of corruption and money laundering.

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

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