Police in Malta have arrested three men suspected of having supplied the bomb which killed a Maltese anti-corruption journalist in 2017.
The arrest on Tuesday came as a man accused of carrying out the killing agreed to a plea deal, accepting responsibility for the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia in return for a reduced, 15-year jail term instead of a possible life sentence.
A legal source said Vince Muscat had provided police with vital information about the case, which has shone a spotlight on corruption in the European Union’s smallest country.
Muscat and two other men were arrested in December 2017 and accused of having planned and executed the murder.
Muscat’s alleged accomplices continue to plea not guilty.
The three men seized on Tuesday were named as Jamie Vella and brothers Adrian and Robert Agius.
Caruana Galizia, who has been described as a “one-woman WikiLeaks”, was known for investigating high-level corruption, including contributing to the 2016 Panama Papers data leak.
She was killed in a car bomb that targeted her vehicle not far from her home in the north of Malta.
One of her sons accused Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, who is no relation to the suspect, of being complicit and turning Malta, a former British colony that joined the EU in 2004, into a “mafia island”.
PM Muscat stepped down in January 2020 after the investigation into the murder implicated some of his closest collaborators.
His chief of staff, Keith Schembri, and tourism minister, Konrad Mizzi, had both been accused by Caruana Galizia of being involved in corruption, allegations that both denied.
Yorgen Fenech, a multimillionaire and close friend of Schembri, is suspected of having masterminded the crime and is also accused of being an accomplice to the murder. He has denied wrongdoing.