Daphne Caruana Galizia: Remotely detonated bomb killed Maltese journalist, government says


from ABC News:

Police believe a bomb that killed a prominent journalist in Malta was attached beneath her car and triggered remotely, a government spokeswoman has said, giving first details of the investigation.

Daphne Caruana Galizia, a renowned blogger and fierce critic of the Government, died on Monday in a blast that wrecked her car as she was leaving her house, throwing debris and body parts into a nearby field.

The murder shocked the Mediterranean island, the smallest nation in the European Union, and Prime Minister Joseph Muscat on Wednesday promised a reward to anyone who came forward with information about the killing.

However, Caruana Galizia’s three grown-up sons dismissed the offer, and called instead for Mr Muscat to resign, saying he should take political responsibility for the first such murder of a journalist in Malta since the island won independence in 1964.

Mr Muscat has ruled out quitting and flew to Brussels on Thursday for an EU summit.

His spokeswoman told reporters that British police had joined Dutch forensic experts and a team from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to help with the case.

“Emerging evidences make us think that the bomb was placed under the car and was set off with a remote trigger,” the spokeswoman said.

She said foreign experts should be able to help identify the mobile phone which was used to detonate the bomb.

A local police source said investigators believed powerful Semtex explosives might have been used in the killing, adding that if proven, it would be a first for Malta.

Caruana Galizia critical of PM before death

The island has seen a number of small bomb attacks in recent years tied to gangland criminals, but the explosives used were relatively rudimentary and did not have the same power as the device that targeted Caruana Galizia.

The 53-year-old journalist used her widely-read blog to lambast Mr Muscat, his wife and some of his closest advisers, accusing them of setting up off-shore accounts to hide ill-gotten gain.

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