Ten arrested in Malta over Daphne Caruana Galizia murder
Dec 05 2017
Investigators have 48 hours to question the suspects to decide whether to seek charges, in accordance with Maltese law.
Explaining the reason for staying tight-lipped, Muscat cited concerns that divulging information could compromise the prosecutions.
Caruana Galizia, 53, was killed on October 16 after a bomb exploded in her vehicle as she drove away from her home in Mosta, a small town outside the capital, Valletta.
The government promised to bring her killers to justice, and its spokesman Kurt Farrugia said Monday morning that the group of eight, all Maltese, had been taken into custody.
Muscat called early elections in June seeking a vote of confidence to counter Caruana Galizia's allegations of corruption.
"During this operation, 8 persons were arrested" the statement said, adding that they faced "reasonable suspicion in connection with involvement in the murder" of Caruana Galizia.
Malta's police force called in experts from across the world to help them solve the crime, including from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Her murder raised concern within the European Union about the rule of law in Malta, and many saw it as an attack on independent media. Shortly afterward, he tweeted that two others had been arrested.
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.
Just last week, a visiting delegation of European Parliament lawmakers 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". Authorities, including anti-Mafia investigators in nearby Italy, worry that Malta is eyed by criminals on the lookout for money-laundering schemes.
The journalist focused her reporting for years on investigating political corruption and scandals, and reported on Maltese mobsters and drug trafficking.
The Mediterranean country observed a national day of mourning in her honor and has offered a 1-million-euro (1.19 million US dollar) reward for information about her murder.
Many top officials had sued her over her reporting.
'Everyone knows Caruana Galizia was a harsh critic of mine, both politically and personally, but nobody can justify this barbaric act in any way, ' Muscat said.