Car Bomb – October 16, 2017
On October 16, 2017 Daphne Caruana Galizia is killed in a car bomb targeting her vehicle not far from her home in the north of the island.
Aged 53, she was known for investigating high-level corruption, including contributing to the 2016 Panama Papers data leak.
Her killing triggers an outpouring of grief on the island, one of her sons accusing Muscat of being complicity and turning Malta into a ‘mafia island’.
On December 4, 2017, authorities arrest eight people in connection with the murder.
Charges – July 16, 2019
On July 16, 2019, three suspects are formally charged in connection with the assassination: brothers Alfred and George Degiorgio, as well as Vince Muscat, all in their 50s.
The mastermind has not yet been identified.
On September 20, the government announces a public inquiry into the killing, just ahead of the expiry of a three-month deadline by the Council of Europe to set up such an investigation.
Legal Immunity – November 20, 2019
On November 20, Maltese police arrest tycoon Yorgen Fenech in connection with the murder as he is sailing away from Malta on his yacht.
Fenech owns a Dubai company called 17 Black that Caruana Galizia had reported had connections with the government.
The arrest comes a day after the prime minister promises to pardon an alleged middleman if he names the person who ordered the assassination.
On the 23, Fenech demands legal immunity before revealing what he knows about the case. He is released on bail three days later.
Ministers quit – November 26, 2019
On November 26 Muscat’s chief of staff, Keith Schembri, and his tourism minister, Konrad Mizzi, resign. They had been accused by Caruana Galizia of being involved in corruption, which they denied.
Economy minister Chris Cardona says he is ‘suspending himself’.
Schembri is arrested but released two days later without charge, sparking accusations of a cover-up. Some sources claim Schembri was the mastermind of Caruana Galizia’s killing.
Prime Minister to step down – November 30, 2019
On November 30, party sources say Muscat will step down on January 18 once those behind the murder of Caruana Galizia have been charged
‘He always said that he will be leaving soon and he feels that now is the time to go,’ said one party source.