Malta parliament surrounded by protesters demanding PM's removal

Saviour Balzan interviewed on BBC

Opponents say Joseph Muscat is too compromised to preside over the investigation into the murder of Ms Caruana Galizia, who, after exposing corruption and sleaze in a blog, was blown up by a auto bomb two years ago.

Following Fenech's arrest, he attempted to implicate Joseph Muscat's chief of staff, Keith Schembri, who resigned last week.

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat on Sunday told the nation that he would resign next month, following pressure from angry citizens for the truth about the 2017 vehicle bombing that killed a journalist pursuing corruption.

Protesters gathered near the parliament's entrance, some of whom were shouting "Prison!" and "Assassins!" but the PM was eventually able to leave via a secondary exit.

Police on Saturday charged one of the small Mediterranean island's wealthiest businessmen, Yorgen Fenech, with complicity in the killing. He has pleaded not guilty, according to published reports.

Despite the journalist's revelations of corruption in the Maltese government, Muscat's Labour Party won the June 2017 general elections by a landslide.

Reporting from the Maltese capital, Al Jazeera's Neave Barker said Muscat's pledge to resign in January had inflamed tensions further. Therefore the situation whereby the Prime Minister and his Cabinet, which up till a few hours ago still had Keith Schembri as a member, also decided whether to grant or reject his offer to tell all, was "worrying", he said.

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It followed another night of protests in front of parliament on Monday night, where citizens were blocked off Freedom Square in front of the parliament building.

There was a heavy police presence at Castille Square this morning that was again cordoned off by barriers as members of the European Parliament delegation arrived for a meeting with Joseph Muscat scheduled for 8.30am on Tuesday.

However, he began his speech by declaring that he had kept his promise to deliver justice for Caruana Galizia, citing a recent arrest in the case.

"Now we know the truth, that the government itself was involved in my mother's assassination", he said.

"The case showed that Malta's institutions work and everyone is equal before the law", he said. Schembri has denied any wrongdoing, the agency said.

Fenech had named Schembri, along with two ministers in the government, in a criminal probe into Caruana Galizia's murder. Caruana Galizia reported that they had taken control of secretive Panama shell companies soon after entering office. 1, 2019, that he would resign in January following pressure from citizens for the truth about the 2017 vehicle bombing that killed a journalist.

Last week, the former chief aide to Muscat was questioned by police investigating Galizia's killing. Schembri was arrested on 26 November and released on 28 November.

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