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VALLETTA: One of three men accused of planting a car bomb that killed Maltese anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in 2017 dramatically pleaded guilty Tuesday and was swiftly sentenced to 15 years in jail.

Vincent Muscat received a relatively lenient sentence after the judge said he had been cooperating with police for years, in a case that rocked the Mediterranean island nation.

The murder of Caruana Galizia, who exposed cronyism and sleaze within Malta’s political and business elite, sparked international outrage and protests that forced prime minister Joseph Muscat to resign. Two alleged co-conspirators are still awaiting trial over the attack on October 16, 2017, while a businessman, Yorgen Fenech, has been charged with masterminding the murder. In a statement read out by their lawyer, Jason Azzopardi, the victim’s family expressed their “hope that this development will begin the road for total justice for Daphne Caruana Galizia”.