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France probes financing around Maltese journalist’s killing

February 12, 2020 GMT
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Joseph Muscat leaves his office of Castille for the last time, as he goes to the president with his resignation, in Valletta, Malta, Monday, Jan. 13, 2020. Robert Abela is replacing Muscat as premier after weeks of protests demanding accountability in the investigation of the car bomb slaying of an anti-corruption journalist who targeted his government. (AP Photo/Rene' Rossignaud)
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Joseph Muscat leaves his office of Castille for the last time, as he goes to the president with his resignation, in Valletta, Malta, Monday, Jan. 13, 2020. Robert Abela is replacing Muscat as premier after weeks of protests demanding accountability in the investigation of the car bomb slaying of an anti-corruption journalist who targeted his government. (AP Photo/Rene' Rossignaud)

France’s national prosecutors’ office opened a preliminary investigation Wednesday of shady French finance trails involving unnamed individuals who are suspected of a role in the killing of Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

The investigation led by France’s Central Office for the Fight Against Corruption and Financial and Fiscal Offenses will try to establish if those monies in France helped support corrupt foreign public officials, the prosecutors’ office said.

A statement from the prosecutors did not specify if the corrupt foreign officials in question were from Malta, but said the French anti-corruption office would cooperate closely with Maltese authorities.

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The investigation came after the slain journalist’s family and the media freedom group Reporters Without Borders filed a complaint in France.

Caruana Galizia was killed by a bomb in 2017 while driving near her home in Malta. Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat resigned last month amid anger over links between his government and people who are under investigation in her death.