Caruana Galizia lawyers cleared to ask about what Fenech told police

As long as it is related to Daphne's murder

Jeremy Wonnacott (DOI)

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

A request by the lawyers of the Caruana Galizia family to be permitted to ask questions about what Tumas Group scion Yorgen Fenech told police during his arrest has been partially upheld by Magistrate Rachel Montebello, who said that such questions could be made as long as they only concerned his involvement in the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia and not other potential crimes.

The parte civile lawyers had requested to be allowed to ask the prosecution on everything that was said by Fenech during his arrest, and not just a selection.

Fenech’s lawyers had opposed the request, pointing out that a similar one made on 14 October was turned down. But Magistrate Montebello observed that in that decree, she had said that he application should be filed when the records of the case are sent back to the Court: this took place last week. Since the Attorney General did not object, the magistrate concluded that the Caruana Galizias’ request was admissible.

The magistrate highlighted that according to the Criminal Code, any confession made by any means can be used as evidence, so long as it was made voluntarily. The law did not exclude confessions made in confidence, including those made with the aim of securing a presidential pardon.

Fenech’s lawyers argued that a confession made before his rights were read out should not be admissible, but Magistrate Montebello argued that this was not necessarily the case, although it could indicate that such a statement was not made freely.

Consequently, she ruled that there was no legal impediment to produce as evidence anything Fenech may have told police – even in confidence. But she emphasised that this should be limited only to the crime he was undergoing proceedings over: the murder of Caruana Galizia.

The magistrate pointed out that any information on other crimes risked prejudicing crimianl proceedings and the interests of justice, before partially upholding the parte civile request.