Malta arrests eight in probe into journalist's killing

Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed by a car bomb in October

Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed by a car bomb in October

Maltese police have arrested 10 people allegedly connected to the murder of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia who died in a auto bomb blast two months ago.

Television reported that Caruana Galizia had filed a complaint to the police two weeks ago to say she had received threats.

Joseph Muscat said eight Maltese citizens were arrested yesterday, given a "reasonable suspicion" of their involvement in Ms Caruana Galizia's death.

Daphne Caruana Galizia, whose reporting focused heavily on corruption on the European Union island nation, was killed October 16 when a bomb destroyed her vehicle as she was driving near her home.

The government offered a €1m reward for information about her murder.

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Police made arrests in several locations around Malta on Monday morning as part of a joint operation with the armed forces and secret service.

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

Muscat added that it was general practice for the police not to alert someone by arresting them, unless they had more information on the case, or else these persons could be released after 48 hours and go on to cover their tracks. The suspects then can either plead innocent or guilty.

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

She was well-known in the small island country for her popular blog, Running Commentary, where she highlighted alleged high-level corruption by 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 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".

Galizia, 53, was well known for her work on exposing corruption.

Galizia was following leads from the Panama Papers that were leaked in 2015 and show how the world's rich use offshore firms to hide their wealth. Caruana Galizia made plain she didn't trust the island's police or judiciary to adequately investigate numerous wrongdoings she alleged.

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

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