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Timeline | From Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder to first arrests

Journalist’s assassination on October 16 leads to widespread condemnation, protests, and calls for resignations and EU concern

Massimo Costa
4 December 2017, 5:20pm
The wreckage of the car Daphne Caruana Galizia was driving
The wreckage of the car Daphne Caruana Galizia was driving
Six weeks after the murder of jounalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, police on Monday morning arrested 10 people in conjunction with the car bomb attack.

The arrests came mere days after a delegation from the European Parliament left Malta following a two-day fact-finding mission on the rule of law in Malta. 

The murder was widely reported around the world and led to very strong reactions from within the European Union’s institutions as well as a number of protests by civil society, which called for the Police Commissioner’s and Attorney General’s resignations.

Below is a timeline of events starting from Caruana Galizia’s murder until the arrests made on Monday.

Daphne Caruana Galizia is murdered

October 16, just before 3pm - Journalist and blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia is murdered in a powerful car bomb in Bidnija, a short distance from her home

October 16, 4:30pm - Prime Minister Joseph Muscat addresses a press conference in front of Castille, calls it a “black day for freedom of expression”

October 16, 7pm - Caruana Galizia’s family requests abstention of magistrate Consuelo Scerri Herrera from the murder inquiry. Scerri Herrera, who was duty magistrate when the murder happened, acceded the request and stepped down the following day, to be replaced by magistrate Anthony Vella

October 16 - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange offers €20,000 for information leading to the conviction of Caruana Galizia’s killers

Dutch police, FBI arrive in Malta as journalists gather in solidarity

October 17 - Dutch police team arrive in Malta to aid with the investigation

October 17 - opposition leader Adrian Delia calls for Prime Minister to take political responsibility for the murder and resign

October 18 - FBI land in Malta to assist in investigation

October 18 - PANA Committee demands an international investigation into the murder

October 19 - journalists from Malta’s media houses gather in Valletta in a show of solidarity following the murder, number of foreign news media also present

      What we know about Monday’s arrests
  • 10 Maltese people were arrested in connection with the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia
  • Heavily armed police and soldiers raided warehouses in the Menqa area of Marsa early on Monday morning
  • Warehouses and vessels berthed along the queue were searched
  • Similar raids happened on properties in Zebbug and Bugibba
  • Those arrested are believed to be known criminals
  • It is likely that the arrested were the executioners of the murder, not the mastermind

First police press conference held, Pope offers condolences and government issues €1m reward

October 19 - Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar and deputy commissioner Silvio Valletta address first press conference, to local and foreign journalists, three days after the murder. It is widely viewed as having been a PR disaster.

The police crime conference was covered by the international press as well
The police crime conference was covered by the international press as well
October 20 - Pope Francis extends his condolence to Caruana Galizia family, says he is ‘saddened’ by journalist’s death

October 21 - government of Malta offers a €1 million reward for information on Caruana Galizia’s murderers

First demonstration by CSN held in Valletta, minute’s silence held in EP

October 22 - thousands gather at Valletta demonstration in honour of the slain journalist, as Civil Society Network call for the removal of the Police Commissioner and Attorney General. Maltese community in London also gathers outside High Commission

The first demonstration in the wake of the murder was held on October 22
The first demonstration in the wake of the murder was held on October 22
October 23 - commotion in the Maltese parliament as opposition calls for suspension of normal business to urgently focus on civil society resignation calls

October 24 - minute’s silence held in European Parliament as MEPs pay tribute to Caruana Galizia, EP President Antonio Tajani calls for EUROPOL to be fully involved in investigation

October 26 - Occupy Justice, a group of female activists, camp outside Castille demanding Police Commissioner and Attorney General resignations

EUROPOL arrive, President meets Occupy Justice activists, second demonstration held

October 26 - EUROPOL officials arrive to assist Malta police

October 28 - President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca meets Occupy Justice representatives for talks

October 29 - Second demonstration, in Sliema, is held

November 3 - Daphne Caruana Galizia is laid to rest, as country observes a national day of mourning

Third demonstration held as MEPs pass resolution on rule of law in Malta

November 3 - European Commission calls on Malta to find journalist’s killers

November 5 - third demonstration held outside police headquarters in Floriana

November 14 - MEPs debates resolution on rule of law in Malta in European Parliament, which passes with 466 votes in favour, 49 against, 160 abstentions

November 20 - Home affairs minister Michael Farrugia confirms in parliament that Dutch police, FBI and EUROPOL, together with a British investigator and other unnamed foreign experts are assisting in the investigation. Gives no information of investigations progress

Caruana Galizia family ask for removal of deputy commissioner

November 22 - Caruana Galizia family ask constitutional court to remove deputy commissioner Silvio Valletta from investigation, claim conflict of interest due to his marriage to government minister Justyne Caruana

November 29 - Caruana Galizia family say they are prepared to use all legal means to prevent government from ‘sabotaging’ investigation

MEP Ana Gomes led a delegation on a fact-find mission to Malta
MEP Ana Gomes led a delegation on a fact-find mission to Malta
MEP delegation on fact-finding mission in Malta 

November 30-December 1 - An MEP delegation was in Malta on a two-day fact-finding mission on rule of law in Malta.

December 3 - Fourth demonstration orgaqnised by the CSN and addressed by Italian anti-corruption prosecutor Antonio Di Pietro, held in Valletta

10 people arrested

December 4 - Eight individuals arrested in the early hours at Marsa Menqa area, in an operation involving the police and AFM, in connection with Caruana Galizia murder, as Prime Minister addresses press conference in front of Castille

Ten people were arrested Monday, following an operation by Malta police and the AFM
Ten people were arrested Monday, following an operation by Malta police and the AFM
December 4, 11am - government announces arrest of an additional two individuals, total now ten

Massimo Costa joined MaltaToday in 2017 as a journalist. He is a graduate in European Stud...