Three men charged in Malta for journalist's murder

Journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was killed by a vehicle bomb in October.

A magistrate on Tuesday charged three men with murder over a car-bomb blast that killed anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, court officials said.

Police arrested 10 men on Monday in connection with their investigation into the killing.

Daphne Caruana Galizia was a leading investigative reporter whose exposes focused on corruption, including among Malta's elite.

All three pleaded not guilty at the arraignment, which was attended by her husband, Peter Caruana Galizia. The evidence included triangulation data of the call that triggered the bomb that killed Caruana Galizia.

One of the three men charged with the murder, Alfred Degiorgio, was seen in Bidnija shortly before the explosion and is believed to have played the role of spotter, local news outlets reported.

Reports after her death said that the explosive Semtex was used in the bomb, prompting speculation that the weapon came from somewhere other than the island off the coast of Sicily. Vince Muscat was not a relative.

The arrests, made in an operation coordinated among the Police Corps, the Armed Forces of Malta and the Security Services, were the first break in the murder that has drawn widespread outrage and condemnation. Muscat provided no other concrete information about the arrests or suspects, citing concerns that anything he says could derail any prosecution.

MaltaToday understands that these men have not been formally charged and are not main suspects.

Minutes before her death, Caruana Galizia, 53, had posted on her blog, Running Commentary, that there were "crooks everywhere" in Malta.

Late Tuesday, Malta's prime minister - a frequent target of Caruana Galizia's reporting - said her slaying was "the worst chapter of my time as prime minister".

Vanessa Coleman