A source close to the Malta security services has reportedly told a local newspaper that businessman Yorgen Fenech, who was arrested last week on his yacht attempting to escape the European island, paid a middleman and hit men nearly half a million dollars for the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. The muckraking journalist was killed when her rental car was blown up near her home in rural Malta in October 2017. Fenech, who owns a number of businesses that were being investigated by Caruana Galizia, denies any involvement. Earlier this week a taxi driver named Melvin Theuma, who is the suspected middleman between Fenech and three men awaiting trial for detonating the car bomb, was given a presidential pardon and full immunity for his testimony regarding the unsolved murder. The murder of the popular anti-corruption journalist has put the country’s prime minister Joseph Muscat, who was also a common target for Caruana Galizia’s investigations, under increasing pressure. Three government officials close to the prime minister have also stepped down this week over the matter. Anti-government protests have been held in the capital city Valletta throughout the week demanding Muscat resigns.
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