Ten arrests over auto bomb murder of Maltese journalist

Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia
Credit Reuters /Darrin Zammit Lupi

He later tweeted that two others had been arrested with police sources saying they were also Maltese.

Asked whether he believes the arrested carried out the attack and whether their arrests could lead to the identification of a mastermind, Muscat refused to elaborate, only insisting that he has "a clear idea" of what their involvement was and that the government is committed to bringing the perpetrators to justice.

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.

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

A court hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday, when the police can officially file charges and the suspects can enter a plea. The magistrate will decide whether to set bail or remand them in custody.

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

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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.

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

"Through her blog, 'Running Commentary, ' she made a name for herself exposing corruption in a nation famous for it - and collecting enemies along the way".

Her murder raised concern within the European Union about the rule of law in Malta.

"Caruana Galizia, a longtime columnist for the Malta Independentand prolific blogger, had spent more than a year perusing the documents included in the Panama Papers, a massive data leak that exposed the offshore bank accounts of politicians around the world". She had also accused senior figures in 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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