The Malta Independent 18 September 2019, Wednesday

Murder believed to have been commissioned locally, ties to international organised crime suspected

Rachel Attard & David Lindsay Sunday, 22 October 2017, 09:30 Last update: about 3 years ago

As the car bomb murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia continues to fuel rampant speculation, one of the main leads the police are pursuing is that the crime could have been commissioned by a local resident with ties to international organised crime, sources close to the police force have told The Malta Independent on Sunday.

The sources were, however, quick to stress that other possibilities remain given that evidence is still being thoroughly examined. Sources also confirmed that information has already been provided to the police force which could prove “significant”, but stressed that it was still too early to say.

They were unable to confirm whether the journalist was working on a new line of investigation, saying that it is still being ascertained whether any data could be recovered from Caruana Galizia’s laptop, which had been recovered from the wreckage of her car.

The other five car bombs in Malta since the start of 2016 are also being examined to discover whether there is a link between the attacks, given that it appears all six used mobile detonated devices.

It is widely believed that Semtex – a military grade explosive that is not available in Malta – could have been used in Caruana Galizia’s attack, while the police have said that pyrotechnic material had been used in the previous five car bombs. 

On Friday, investigators and forensic experts finished clearing the crime scene in Bidnija of all evidence. Four members of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and four Dutch forensics experts are assisting the Maltese police with their investigations.

The car has been taken to a police facility in Pembroke for examination, while it is assumed that all other pieces of evidence have been taken to respective police facilities for analysis.

An autopsy took place on Friday.

Foreign involvement in the bomb is widely suspected given the type of explosive used. Sources close to the Armed Forces of Malta that spoke to this newsroom earlier this week said the material had most likely been smuggled into the country and that this was the first time it has been used in Malta.

The sources said the bomb could have been brought to Malta already assembled, or it could have been smuggled into the country in separate components and assembled in Malta. It is also believed that there are no people in Malta skilled in the use of Semtex.

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