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Car-Bombing Case Triggers Big Resignation

Maltese PM Joseph Muscat is stepping down
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 1, 2019 2:15 PM CST
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In this Thursday, June 20, 2019 file photo, Malta's Prime Minister Joseph Muscat arrives for an EU summit at the Europa building in Brussels.   (Julien Warnand/Pool via AP, File)
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(Newser) – Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat told the nation Sunday night that he would resign in January following pressure from angry citizens for the truth about the 2017 car bombing that killed a journalist, the AP reports. In a televised message, Muscat said he has informed Malta's president that he will quit as leader of the governing Labor Party on Jan. 12 and that "in the days after I will resign as prime minister." Hours earlier, thousands of Maltese protested outside a courthouse in the capital, Valletta, demanding that he step down. "As prime minister, I promised two years ago that justice would be done in the case of the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia," Muscat said, beginning his speech, adding that "today I am here to tell you that I kept my word."

He noted that in addition to three people arrested soon after the bombing for carrying out the actual attack, now there is "someone accused of being the principal person behind this killing." Muscat was referring to prominent Maltese businessman Yorgen Fenech, who on Saturday night, was arraigned on charges of alleged complicity in the murder and of allegedly organizing and financing the bombing. Fenech entered pleas of innocence. Muscat’s former chief of staff Keith Schembri was allegedly linked to the killing. Schembri was among government members targeted by Caruana Galizia's investigative reporting. The prime minister insisted that he will see to it that “justice is for everyone,’’ and said the investigation is still ongoing.

(Read more journalists killed stories.)

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