Protests have been intensifying in recent days in Valetta [Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters]

Thousands of protesters have surrounded the Maltese Parliament building in Valetta, demanding the prime minister immediately step down.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat on Sunday announced he would resign in January amid growing public anger over the 2017 killing of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

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Protesters want Muscat to leave office now, and up to 4,000 demonstrators surrounded Parliament on Monday evening.

The investigation has seen Yorgen Fenech, a prominent businessman with alleged ties to government ministers and senior officials, charged with complicity in the murder. The 38-year-old pleaded not guilty to that and other charges.

The prime minister’s chief of staff and other prominent political figures have also been questioned by

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