Police must investigate Malta's PM, says family of slain reporter

Sunday's protestors filled the length of Republic Street in Valletta

Muscat has said he will only step down as prime minister next month to give time to his Labour party to pick a new leader.

The head of a European Parliament's delegation sent to Malta to review the rule of law on the island, Sophie In't Veld, said on Tuesday that Maltese prime minister Joseph Muscat should step aside, Reuters writes.

But some want Muscat to leave office now, and up to 4,000 demonstrators gathered near parliament's entrance Monday.

Over the weekend, a multimillionaire business tycoon who authorities believe was the mastermind behind the auto bomb attack, Yorgen Fenech, was charged with complicity in her murder.

Al Jazeera's Neave Baker reports from Valletta. "A very large crowd is surrounding the building. Why?"

On 26 November, some journalists' groups voiced concerns that the prime minister may have a conflict of interest since his wife and administration were at the centre of Caruana Galizia's reporting.

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Caruana Galizia, a journalist who was investigating corruption at the highest level in Malta, was blown up by a auto bomb in October 2017. "But it wasn't enough - and that's a lesson about the power of propaganda and how it sows doubt in people's minds, people who knew instinctively that my mother had been murdered by someone very powerful in government in this country, but who for two years were confused and were led to believe that it was low level criminals". Police said there were no longer grounds to hold Schembri as part of a murder investigation into the 2017 vehicle bombing that killed Caruana Galizia. Outside the building, hundreds of protesters chanted "Mafia, mafia".

Malta's president, George Vella, has called on the nation to stay calm, saying, "These are not normal times".

One of Yorgen Fenech's companies was listed in the Panama Papers, and Galizia reported on this company, 17 Black, before her murder. Schembri has denied any wrongdoing, the agency said. Schembri was questioned for two days by police following his resignation before being released without charge.

Caruana Galizia was killed by a vehicle bomb in October 2017, eight months after she blogged about the Panama Papers leak, alleging Dubai-based 17 Black Ltd. was linked to some top Maltese politicians. While many celebrated her as an anti-corruption champion, some in the country whose dealings she exposed scorned her work.

Caruana Galizia was killed when a bomb exploded in her rental auto on 16 October 2017 outside her home in Bidnija.

The government earlier rejected Fenech's request for immunity from prosecution in return for revealing information about the murder plot and about alleged corruption involving Muscat's former chief of staff Keith Schembri, among others, court filings showed, according to Reuters.

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