Vincent Muscat and brothers Alfred and George Degiorgio have been arrested since the end of 2017. The three men are accused of committing the attack with a car bomb to journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia more than two years ago. To date, however, it is not clear who commissioned them.
This could soon change: after several arrests and resignations of high-ranking politicians, the investigations of recent days have suddenly accelerated. Furthermore, the media promoted new details in the background.
The 53-year-old Caruana Galicia was killed on 16 October 2017 in a bomb attack against her car. As a journalist he regularly reported corruption, money laundering, nepotism and other illegal activities in Malta. Some of the scandals have also involved members of the government.
How much money did the contract killers receive?
The Reuters news agency reports that the three contract killers received a total of 150,000 euros for the attack. This had confessed Vince Muscat, one of the suspects, already in April 2018, probably in the hope of being forgiven. According to Reuters, Reuters has had this information since last year, but has decided not to publish it in order not to compromise the ongoing investigations. Suspect Muscat is not related to Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.
The Malta Today newspaper, citing Maltese security officials, said that Muscat and the Degiorgio brothers received a total of € 450,000. The payment was made by the entrepreneur Yorgen Fenech in the intermediary Melvin Theuma. According to the report, investigators obtained their information from recorded Fenechs conversations with Theuma. It is unclear whether Theuma himself received parts of the 450,000 euros, or if he was probably around 150,000 euros for each of the three contract killers.
Both Reuters and "Malta Today" report that Fenech, who was arrested in a spectacular action, focused on another investigator: Keith Schembri. Fenech accused the Maltese government chief of staff, the current commissioner of the Caruana Galicia murder. Schembri was arrested immediately after his resignation on Tuesday.
The European Parliament wants to put pressure on the government of Malta
Even recent events are putting more and more pressure on Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. The head of the government had promised a ruthless explanation two years ago, but the investigation was barely going on for a long time.
Meanwhile, the European Parliament has also been alarmed: the deputies decided on Thursday, in view of the new developments, to send their delegation to the EU Member State next week.
The members of the Rule of Law Monitoring Group will travel to Malta, said the Dutch leader, Sophie in & # 39; t Veld. The intention of the trip was not to interfere in national affairs, the Dutch said. The pressure on the government of Malta must be maintained, however, in order for the truth to come to light.
"The European Union cannot be silent about the events in Malta", wrote the Maltese MEP Roberta Metsola on Twitter. "Clear political connections must have clear political consequences".