‘Clean’ audio files of Theuma’s recordings exhibited in court

Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

A court expert has optimized the audio of the secret recordings made by state witness Melvin Theuma.

On Friday, the compilation of evidence against the three suspected hitmen continued. Brothers Alfred (il-Fulu) and George (ic-Ciniz) Degiorgio, and Vince Muscat (il-Kohhu) appeared before Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit.

Court expert Keith Cutajar exhibited USB drives containing the ‘clean’ audio files of the recordings made by Theuma.

IT expert Keith Cutajar explained that audio optimization eliminates noise such as an engine running in the background, birds chirping and other noise. Cutajar explained that vocal noises in the background were not removed as they might be relevant to the case.

Cutajar told the court that adjustments were made to 133 clips. The audio adjustment was done manually to each of the clips. He remarked that this improved the audio drastically, adding that he listened to the newly optimized clips both on traditional speakers and through professional headphones.

Dr Jason Azzopardi appearing for the Caruana Galizia family asked the court expert whether this set of recordings could exhibit in the court proceedings against murder suspect Yorgen Fenech. Cutajar replies that since the process was a manual one, it would be better to present a copy of the audio files exhibited in court on Friday.

‘While such a process could be automated, this was a manual process. Optimizing the audio of the same clips once again might yield different results,’ Cutajar told the court.

Presiding magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit explained that she will be engaging three individuals to transcribe the clips.

Lawyer Philip Galea Farrugia appeared on behalf of the office of the Attorney General.

Lawyer Jason Azzopardi appeared for the family.

Lawyer William Cuschieri appeared for the Degiorgio brothers while Dr Marc Sant appeared for Vince Muscat.

The next sitting is scheduled for 25 June 2020 at 9.30am.