Three men were charged in Malta on Tuesday with murder in connection with a car bomb blast that killed anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, a statement read in court said.
Caruana Galizia, 53, died instantly when her car was blown up as she drove out of her home on October 16, a killing that shocked Malta and raised concern within the European Union about the rule of law on the tiny Mediterranean island.
The three men charged, Vince Muscat and brothers Alfred and George Degiorgio, all pleaded not guilty. It was not immediately clear whether police thought they had acted on their own or were hitmen working for others.
Caruana Galizia wrote a popular blog in which she relentlessly highlighted cases of alleged graft targeting politicians of all colors, including Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. Vince Muscat was not a relative.
Police arrested 10 men on Monday in connection with the investigation into the killing. It was not clear whether the remaining seven suspects would be released or be charged later.
A close friend of Caruana Galizia told Reuters that she did not think the journalist had ever investigated the three men charged Tuesday.