Police in Malta have arrested 10 suspects over the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, the country's prime minister has said, almost two months after the anti-corruption journalist was killed by a powerful vehicle bomb.
The three suspects were among 10 people arrested in an operation on Monday. According to Maltese law, the police have 48 hours to question the suspects, charge them or release them.
At a news conference announcing the arrests Monday, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said the FBI helped Maltese police in their investigation together with Europol, the European Union's police agency and other European investigators, including from Finland's National Bureau of Investigation.
Muscat's Labour Party government had offered $1.2-million (R13-million) reward for information leading to a conviction of Caruana Galizia's killers.
The three men charged with her murder were named in court as brothers George and Alfred Degiorgio, 55 and 53 respectively, and Vincent Muscat, 55.
The three main suspects arrived at court under a heavy police escort on Tuesday. He tweeted later that two more suspects were also in custody.
Europol, the European Union's police agency, has sent a team of organized crime experts to help Maltese police investigate the assassination, joining the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Dutch forensic experts.
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Ms Caruana Galizia's husband, Peter, attended the hearing.
In her final post on Running Commentary, the blog she had written since 2008, Caruana Galizia voiced despair over the cronyism and sleaze she saw engulfing Malta.
The arrest of the 10 men Monday was the first breakthrough in the October 16 killing that shocked this Mediterranean island and led the European Parliament to send a delegation on a fact-finding mission related to the rule of law in Malta.
The family have alleged that her murder was a "targeted killing" of a journalist whose work focused on uncovering "corruption, criminality, conflicts of interest and ethical failures in decision-making" by politicians and their associates. She also wrote about Maltese links to the so-called Panama Papers leaks about offshore financial havens.
All have denied the accusations and Galizia was hit with 36 libel suits in the nine months preceding her death. Caruana Galizia made plain she didn't trust the island's police or judiciary to adequately investigate numerous wrongdoings she alleged.
In response, Frans Timmermans, vice-president of the commission, urged the authorities to leave "no stone unturned" in the case.