More than 300 University of Malta academics have signed a petition calling on Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to either "resign or be removed".
The 304 academics said that in the wake of recent developments in the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder investigation, those entrusted with power had "betrayed in the most serious manner the trust of Maltese citizens and the international community".
The academics are full- and part-time University of Malta and Junior College lecturers.
The full text of the petition reads as follows:
"Joseph Muscat must resign or be removed
"As academics at the University of Malta we have followed developments in Malta tied to the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, corruption and institutionalised money laundering. We feel that those entrusted with power have betrayed, in the most serious manner, the trust of Maltese citizens and the international community. In this context, Joseph Muscat must resign or be removed from office with immediate effect. This is necessary for the investigations to proceed without impediment from the Office of the Prime Minister."
Notable signatories include playwright and philosopher Joe Friggieri, former rector Juanito Camilleri, Author Immanuel Mifsud, head of the Department of Maltese and Kelma Kelma founder Michael Spagnol, Bicycle Advocacy Group president Michelle Attard Tonna and former Valletta mayor Alexiei Dingli.
Meanwhile, Josef Caruana, a person of trust at the Office of the Prime Minister said in a Facebook post that "our supposed intellectuals" were quick to draw conclusions.
Mr Caruana proceeded to publish personal information about some 70 of them while the petition had not yet been made public.
Sources told Times of Malta Mr Caruana was being reported to the Data Protection Commissioner.
They said it was incredible that a person of trust at the Office of the Prime Minister would lament that the petition was not in the spirit of the rule of law, then proceed to violate GDPR regulations so blatantly.