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Daphne Caruana Galizia murder: 15-year sentence for Vince Muscat after guilty plea

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 flowers and a candle lie in front of a portrait of slain investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia during a vigil outside the law courts in Valletta, Malta
flowers and a candle lie in front of a portrait of slain investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia during a vigil outside the law courts in Valletta, Malta   -   Copyright  Credit: A¨P
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Vincent Muscat was sentenced to 15 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to the murder of Malta investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Caruana Galizia was murdered in Malta on October 16, 2017, in a car bomb attack. The murder shocked the country of just over 500,000 people.

Muscat is one of three men charged with planting the bomb and had originally pleaded not guilty. It is suggested that he may have entered a plea bargain with the Attorney General.

Brothers George and Alfred Degiorgio have pleaded not guilty, however, according to the Times of Malta, which also reports that the suspected bomb makers have been arrested. Police told Euronews that they could not confirm the report.

Caruana Galizia's reporting alleged corruption in the highest levels of government in the small Mediterranean island nation. To some, she was known as a "one-woman WikiLeaks".

The investigative reporter had been fighting dozens of defamation suits and had been arrested twice at the time of her death.

Her murder and the subsequent stalled investigation called into question press freedom and the rule of law in Malta.

In a statement delivered by a lawyer in court, the family said that the person who admitted involvement in the murder "denied her her right to life" and "right to enjoy her family".

"The macabre murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia was intentional and should have been prevented. The victim has paid with her life and her family is suffering the loss of their loved one," the family said in a statement.

The family expressed their hope that this would lead to full justice for the investigative journalist.

Here's our reporting on the murder in March 2020

For years, there were stalled investigations into the case, but in 2019 several government ministers, including Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, resigned amid questions about their connection to people involved in the murder.

Most notably, prominent businessman Yorgen Fenech was arrested in 2019 as he was escaping on a yacht. He is suspected of having planned the murder.

Another man, Melvin Theuma, a self-described middleman, had agreed to reveal details of the plot to kill the investigative journalist.