Malta prime minister resigns after protests over journalist’s murder

In this Thursday, June 20, 2019 file photo, Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat arrives for an EU summit at the Europa building in Brussels. Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said Sunday Dec. 1, 2019, that he would resign in January following pressure from citizens for the truth about the 2017 car bombing that killed a journalist. (Julien Warnand/Pool via AP, File)

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced his resignation on Sunday under pressure over a 2017 car bombing that killed anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Muscat said he would step down as leader of the governing Labor Party on Jan. 12, and “in the days after I will resign as prime minister.”

Hours before the announcement, nearly 20,000 people protested in the capital, Valletta, demanding his departure.

The slain reporter’s family said Muscat’s resignation wouldn’t satisfy a population demanding an end to corruption. “People will be out in the streets again tomorrow,” tweeted one of her sons, Matthew Caruana Galizia, also a journalist.

Maltese businessman Yorgen Fenech was arraigned Saturday on charges of complicity in the killing.

Muscat’s former Chief of Staff Keith Schembri and Fenech are old friends.

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