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Europol to help probe Maltese journalist murder

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VALLETTA: Three investigators from Europol will be travelling to Malta to help the investigation into the murder of Maltese journalist and anti-corruption campaigner Daphne Caruana Galizia, police said on Thursday.

Investigators on the island are already being assisted by FBI officers and Dutch forensic police.

The move to involve the European Union’s Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, whose officers are expected to touch down before the end of the week, comes following pressure from the European Parliament.

Parliament chief Antonio Tajani on Tuesday demanded an international investigation into the car bomb murder amid fears that the assassination would not be fairly handled by national investigators.

The police provided few clues as to how the probe was going, warning only that it was too early to speculate whether Semtex or TNT had been the explosive used.

Samples taken from the crime scene had been sent to foreign laboratories for testing, it said in a statement.

Teams were also working round the clock on tip-offs provided by the general public on the October 16 murder, which made headlines around the world.

ALSO READ: Anti-corruption blogger killed by huge bomb in Malta

On Thursday a group of female protesters said they would be setting up camp in Malta’s historic Castille Square for a four-day sit-in to call for the country’s police chief and attorney general to be sacked.

“It is clear that we need to restore faith in the proper functioning of our institutions and democracy. For this to be done and to be seen to be done, our leaders need to act and quickly,” the group said in a statement.

“This is not the Malta we recognise. We want safety, protection, honesty, transparency,” it added.

The Civil Society Network said it too demanded both men’s resignation and was organising a march for Sunday.

Caruana Galizia, 53, had made repeated and detailed corruption allegations for years against Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s inner circle and had recently turned her investigative scrutiny on the opposition as well.

After her death, her family accused Muscat of filling his office with crooks and creating a culture of impunity that turned Malta into a “mafia island”.

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