Maltese police have arrested eight suspects in the murder of blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said, almost two months after her car was blown up while she was driving it.

All of the suspects are Maltese nationals and most have a criminal record, the prime minister said, without providing any further details. The police have 48 hours to question the suspects, arraign them or release them.

Caruana Galizia, 53, was murdered on 16 October. She ran a popular blog in which she relentlessly highlighted cases of alleged high-level corruption targeting politicians from across party lines. 

Her killing has sparked protests on the island, with thousands marching against what some called the “Mafia state”. 

Last week, a delegation of MEPs from Brussels travelled to Malta to assess whether the country’s law enforcement system had been “compromised”.

Green MEP Sven Giegold said they came away from a meeting with the Maltese police commissioner with the impression that there was a “high degree of unwillingness to investigate”.

“I am even more concerned over the rule of law now that before the visit and we must follow up on what we found,” he said.

But the Maltese Prime Minister said the delegation chose to meet with a disproportionate number of government critics and that its conclusions were “misguided”.

 

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