“Parts of the body were neatly cut” – Forensic expert

Miguela XUereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The court proceedings into the murder of Charlene Farrugia continued today.

John Woods is being charged with murdering Charlene Farrugia in November 2008, holding her against her will, hiding her body and carrying an unlicensed bladed weapon.

Farrugia’s remains were discovered in Valletta in July 2019 when John Paul Charles Woods, who was arrested following a hold-up in a convenience shop in Gzira, led the police to the location in the ditch beneath City Gate, in Valletta where the gruesome discovery was made.

Charlene Farrugia was 25 years old at the time of her disappearance.

12:26 Thank you for following.
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12:26 That is it for today.
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12:24 The next court sitting will be held on the 9th of November at 2:30 pm. An hour and a half will be allocated for the sitting.
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12:22 Also, the court said that in view of today's testimonies the court ordered that the victim's body can be released.
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12:18 The prosecution said there are no more witnesses for today.
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12:10 Dr Cassar said that from the belongings of Farrugia, assigned to her to analyze, she could not determine if they belong to the victim however when analyzing parts of the body, it was concluded that it was Charlene Farrugia as certain tests matched with that of her sister's and her mother's.

Dr Cassar is now presenting a slipper which belongs to Farrugia, an orange rope, a number of swab tests, and an oral sample.
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12:09 Dr Marisa Cassar takes the witness stand.
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12:07 He further explained that from the studies it was determined that parts of the body were cut deliberately with a saw as the cuts were very clean.

The accused, Woods, looks agitated.
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12:06 Dr Scerri said that he had also examined the accused because he claimed he had an injury on his shoulder.
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12:03 From the studies, it was determined that the remains were of a female aged in her 20s.

Dr Scerri also said that there were cuts of the body which were neatly cut.

He also said that forensically it cannot be determined whether the body was cut while the victim was still alive or after she was already dead.
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12:02 Dr Scerri found that amongst the remains a piece of skull was found and hair as well.
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12:00 Dr Scerri said that he was assigned to analyze the human bones found inside a cave in the bastions outside Valletta.
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11:59 Inspector's Fleri testimony ends here. Dr Mario Scerri is next to take the witness stand.
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11:57 Following Woods' confession, Inspector Fleri said that he researched the name and confirmed it was the person who was reported missing.

She was last seen on the 6th of November 2008.
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11:56 Police Inspector Fleri said that the accused had confessed to having murdered Charlene Farrugia who at the time of the murder, she was in a relationship with a guy known as Harry Potter.
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11:55 He said that after the incident Woods was admitted to hospital for treatment and wanted to speak to the Police about a murder which happened years ago.
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11:54 Fleri is recalling the incident when the accused was arrested following a hold-up in Gzira. This happened in July.
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11:54 Inspector Fabian Fleri takes the witness stand.
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11:53 Magistrate Marseann Farrugia has just entered the courtroom.
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11:52 During the last court sitting the witnesses couldn’t attend and the case had to be deferred.
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11:51 We are waiting for Magistrate Marseann Farrugia, who is presiding over the case, to enter the courtroom.
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11:50 Dr Roberta Felice Bonello, appearing for John Woods, is present inside the courtroom.

The prosecution is also present.
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11:46 The accused has just entered the courtroom.
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11:45 We are live from courtroom 3.
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11:45 Good morning and welcome to this live blog.
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