Three men charged with murder of Maltese journalist using car bomb

A suspect exits the Law Courts in Valletta, Malta, on Dec 6, after being charged with the murder of blogger and journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
A suspect exits the Law Courts in Valletta, Malta, on Dec 6, after being charged with the murder of blogger and journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.PHOTO: AFP

VALLETTA, MALTA (AFP) - Three men were charged on Tuesday (Dec 5) with the murder of campaigning Maltese journalist and blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia, killed in a car bombing on the Mediterranean island on Oct 16.

Ms Caruana Galizia, 53, was one of Malta's most prominent public figures, thanks to a widely read blog she used to expose crime and corruption on the small but economically booming nation.

The three men charged with her murder pleaded not guilty in court in Valletta.

Brothers George and Alfred Degiorgio, aged 55 and 53, respectively, and Vincent Muscat, 55, were charged with manufacturing the bomb, with killing the journalist, with taking part in organised crime, as well as possession of explosives.

The three sat motionless in the dock with their heads lowered before Magistrate Neville Camilleri. They will be kept in jail.

The three suspects were among 10 people arrested in an operation on Monday. The other seven have been released on police bail pending a probe of other evidence.

Ms Caruana Galizia's most explosive reports included allegations that members of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat's inner circle benefited from kickbacks on business deals and a controversial passports-for-investment scheme.

But she also focused on alleged dubious behaviour by prominent opposition and business figures, fuelling speculation she could have been the victim of mobsters.