World News

10 arrested in Daphne Caruana Galizia murder case

Posted December 4, 2017 4:12 a.m. EST

— Malta's Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced the arrest of 10 suspects linked to the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia Monday.

Caruana Galizia was killed in a car bombing in October after her vehicle exploded soon after she left her home in Bidnija, close to the town of Mosta, local media reported at the time.

Confirming the 10 arrests, Muscat added on Twitter that "authorities have all areas of interest under control since early this morning and searches are underway."

Earlier, government spokesman Kurt Farrugia had confirmed on Twitter that eight of the suspects are Maltese. Two further arrests were made later to take the number to 10.

The death of Caruana Galizia, who had led the investigation into the Panama Papers and alleged corruption within political circles in Malta, rocked the country and caused consternation across Europe.

In the aftermath of the attack, her son, Matthew Caruana Galizia, said his mother had been "assassinated" because of her work uncovering alleged corruption in the Maltese government.

He said that the 53-year-old had been "targeted" and added that a "culture of impunity has been allowed to flourish by the government in Malta."

Officials from the FBI and Dutch forensic experts were drafted in to examine evidence and work on the case.

Caruana Galizia's death was condemned across the world by fellow journalists and press freedom organizations.

Vigils were held in Malta and abroad, while her death was also mourned by the European Union.

'One-woman Wikileaks'

Caruana Galizia's popular blog, "Running Commentary," was one of the most influential within Maltese politics. It was a leading factor prompting Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to call early elections four months ago after she alleged that he and his wife were linked to the Panama Papers scandal.

The couple denied allegations that they had used secret offshore bank accounts to hide payments from the ruling family of Azerbaijan.

Caruana Galizia was highlighted by politics website Politico as one of 28 individuals who would have a major impact on Europe in 2017 after her work in exposing corruption within Malta's political scene. Politico described her as "a one-woman WikiLeaks, crusading against untransparency and corruption in Malta."

In her blog, the journalist regularly reported on allegations of corruption across the country's political sphere.

In her final post, which was published around 30 minutes before the explosion, she wrote: "There are crooks everywhere you look now. The situation is desperate."

In a statement issued soon after the explosion, Muscat called the incident "barbaric" and said it "goes against civilization and dignity."

"Everyone is aware that Ms. Caruana Galizia was one of my harshest critics, politically and personally, as she was for others, too," Muscat said in the statement. "However, I can never use, in any way this fact to justify, in any possible way, this barbaric act that goes against civilization and all dignity."

In a later interview with CNN, Muscat promised there "will be absolutely no impunity for anyone" involved in the attack.