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Malta arrests suspected middleman in Daphne Galizia’s murder

Rose and Michael Vella carry photos of their daughter, assassinated anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, during an anti-corruption protest against the government of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, in Valletta, Malta November 16, 2019. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

A man suspected of being the middleman in the murder of Malta’s most prominent anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia has been arrested, a police source said on Tuesday, in a potentially major step forward in the investigation.

The middleman is believed to have linked the person suspected of commissioning the murder of Caruana Galizia, to the men accused of carrying out the killing, as well as those who helped procure the explosive device used in the operation.

The Times of Malta newspaper reported on Tuesday that the government is considering a pardon if the suspected middleman can lead investigators to the mastermind.

A police source with direct knowledge of the matter said the arrest was made on Thursday as part of a separate investigation.

The Times of Malta said experts from Europol, the European police organisation, were on hand to seize devices in the suspected middleman’s possession after receiving the go-ahead from a magistrate.

Caruana Galizia, who wrote an anti-corruption blog, was killed by a car bomb as she drove out of her home near the Maltese capital Valletta in October 2017 – a murder that shocked Europe and raised questions about the rule of law on the Mediterranean island.

Three men suspected of being the “trigger men” in the killing were arrested in the following December.

The government and the police have made no immediate comment, but Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, speaking on Sunday, said he wanted the whole truth to come out about the Caruana Galizia murder, even if it meant that the government had to take “difficult decisions”.

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