Caruana Galizia family requests criminal investigation into alleged bribery by Fenech’s lawyers

Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The family of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia has requested the Court to order a police investigation and an inquest into the alleged bribery of a journalist by the defence lawyers of murder suspect Yorgen Fenech.

Fenech, a former businessman and Electrogas director, as well as the owner of the secret offshore company 17 Black, stands accused with complicity in the murder of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

The Police has earlier confirmed that the case is being investigated.

On Tuesday it was reported that lawyer Gianluca Caruana Curran in the presence of Dr Charles Mercieca attempted to bribe Times of Malta journalist Ivan Martin by passing two to four €500 notes following a 20-minute meeting. The journalist refused the money while Caruana Curran told the Times of Malta that:

“Ivan Martin led us to understand that we could use his services to help neutralise the bias in the reporting in the media. We are obviously not privy to his contract or terms of employment within the Times of Malta. It was only after he was offered remuneration for his services, that he mentioned that he was full time with the Times of Malta.”

On Wednesday, the defence team confirmed that they tried to pass on money to Martin while also stating that the issue raised by the media house was all intended to further blacken the character of their client.

Dr Mercieca accused Martin of taking advantage of their ethical obligations by posing as an investigator interested in helping their client through investigative services, as well as sources and information, in a statement on Wednesday.

In the court application signed by parte civile lawyers Jason Azzopardi and Therese Comodini Cachia referred to the shocking news and its effects on the course of justice in such a delicate case. The lawyers said that it appears that the accused and his legal team wanted to buy public opinion in favour of the accused through criminal, deceiving, dishonest and fraudulent means.

The family has also requested the court to record the event in the compilation of evidence before the Magistrates’ Court presided over by Magistrate Rachel Montebello, noting that despite being under preventive arrest since November 2019, Fenech has been caught obstructing the administration of justice.

The Caruana Galizia family has also requested the Court to order a criminal investigation and an inquest to avoid any obstruction of justice, to gather all evidence and to take criminal action against the author, the accomplices and the intermediaries of this crime.