“Yorgen Fenech deserves a fair hearing” – Defence team

Court decree to be presented on Friday

Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The compilation of evidence against Yorgen Fenech, who is being accused of complicity in the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia continued today.

Highlights from today’s court sitting;

  • The court will decide on Friday if the accused can present evidence
  • The defence team wants the AG to present in court the report on the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. It is also asking when was this inquiry concluded
  • Dr Mercieca said that if his client is not granted the right to present the evidence he will ask to declare the compilation of evidence as null
  • Police Inspector Keith Arnaud is against this as it is concerned about the safety of state witness Melvin Theuma
13:27 That is it for today. Thank you for following.
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13:26 The next sitting will be Tuesday 6th at 10 am.
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13:23 The court said that the decree will be presented tomorrow.
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13:22 The deputy AG objects and says that it will be presented in the next sitting next Tuesday and not when Dr Mercieca wants.
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13:22 Dr Mercieca said that it must be presented today.
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13:19 The defence wants the AG to present in court the report on the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia and is asking when was this inquiry concluded.
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13:18 Dr Mercieca said that if his client is not granted the right to present the evidence he will ask to declare the compilation of evidence as null.
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13:15 Police Inspector Keith Arnaud is objecting that any geolocation is presented in court. Arnaud said that the prosecution is against this as it is concerned about the safety of state witness Melvin Theuma.
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13:12 Lawyer Azzopardi asked the court to review past court sentences when data was requested by the police.

Dr Azzopardi said that in those cases the court noted that if such permission would have been granted it would have been dangerous.
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13:11 Lawyer Jason Azzopardi is now addressing the court.
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13:09 "If the court wants that Yorgen Fenech spends the rest of his life in prison, a decision based on a false witness then this is not fair hearing," said Dr Mercieca.
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13:08 The deputy AG is not approving of Dr Mercieca's statements.
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13:05 "If the deputy AG believes that the individuals mentioned in the tapes which have been brought as evidence against Yorgen Fenech are not of relevance, I challenge him to declare this in court," stated Dr Charles Mercieca.
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13:00 Dr Galea Farrugia said that the defence should provide the court with the relevance of all the individuals mentioned today – they were mentioned when the media was asked to leave. However, the deputy AG said that the names include lawyers and people of a certain profile.
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12:58 The deputy AG said that he will leave personal attacks made by Dr Mercieca aside.
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12:56 Deputy AG Dr Philip Galea Farrugia said that he is shocked to hear such statements by Dr Mercieca who has provided the media with a show when delivering his speech.
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12:54 "Everyone seems to pin the murder on Yorgen Fenech alone when the real assassins are outside under the protection…its better if I stop here," said Dr Mercieca
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12:53 Dr Charles Mercieca asked why did the AG suspend Keith Schembri's testimony when Schembri is a crucial witness in this case.
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12:50 "We want fair hearing, where is Justice?" – Dr Mercieca

"This will not be possible if we are for example not provided with Yorgen Fenech's mobile phone, if recordings which contradict those presented by the prosecution have not been presented" – Dr Mercieca
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12:49 "Who is the AG protecting?" asked the defence lawyer.
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12:44 He is referring to "receipts" that the AG does not want to be presented in court.

Mercieca mentioned how during the testimony of Dr Adrian Vella, the deputy AG drew the attention of the court that " if he continues to lie under oath the AG will present his statement."

Lawyer Charles Mercieca asked, "Is this fair hearing?"

"How is it possible that the evidence is being considered by all parts including the court as important which need to be preserved but for the AG it does not seem so?" asked Mercieca.
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12:43 Lawyer Charles Mercieca will continue addressing the court.
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12:43 The media is back inside the courtroom.
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12:38 The media was asked to exit the courtroom.
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12:36 Magistrate Montebello said that the defence team mentioned a number of people who have not been mentioned in the proceedings and the court, therefore, needs to understand their links.
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12:33 The sitting will now continue behind closed doors as the court does not want that certain information especially names to be reported by the media.
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12:28 Lawyer Mercieca argued that in such cases all evidence must be preserved at any time and not just by those who give their testimony or by the prosecution but also by the accused.
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12:27 "The evidence needs to be presented all and not part of it at that would be dangerous," said Mercieca.
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12:26 The defence lawyer said that his client wants to present geolocation data as in the coming weeks this data might be lost according to the data protection act.
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12:24 "All evidence is admissible as long as the law states otherwise," said Mercieca.
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12:22 He continued saying that by not granting his client the right to present the evidence his fundamental rights will be breached.
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12:21 "The AG does not want us to use the 405 and then at a later stage will tell us that we had a remedy at our disposal – that is the 405. What does the AG want then?" asked Lawyer Mercieca.
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12:20 The law which grants this right to his client grants the same right to the AG and to any individual who faces criminal proceedings.
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12:19 Mercieca continued saying that his client wants to present the evidence in accordance to what the law states.
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12:18 Defence Lawyer Mercieca said that his client Yorgen Fenech wants to present certain evidence in this case.
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12:17 Lawyer Mercieca said that as everyone knows he worked within the AG's office and therefore he fully understands the way the AG may operate.
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12:13 Lawyer Charles Mercieca said that with serenity and calmness he wishes to raise a few notes on the position taken by the Attorney General's position.
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12:12 We are back in session.
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11:58 The sitting will resume in a few minutes.
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11:58 Magistrate Montebello exits the courtroom.
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11:56 The court has suspended the session for a few minutes until the lawyers could review the documents.
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11:54 Lawyer Jason Azzopardi, Parte Civile, and the prosecution have also informed the court that they were not informed either.
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11:49 The defence lawyers informed the court that they were not informed about a court application filed by Dr Kathleen Grima – Melvin Theuma's lawyer.
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11:48 Magistrate Montebello has just entered the courtroom.
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11:36 Police Inspectors Keith Arnaud and Kurt Zahra are here too.

We are now waiting for Magistrate Rachel Montebello to enter the courtroom.
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11:33 Family members of the assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia are present too.
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11:33 The accused, Yorgen Fenech is also present.
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11:31 Parte Civile Lawyers Jason Azzopardi and Therese Comodini Cachia are present inside the courtroom.
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11:31 Lawyers Marion Camilleri, Gianluca Caruana Curran and Charles Mercieca are assisting the accused, Yorgen Fenech.
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11:30 We are live from Hall 22.
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11:27 Welcome to Newsbook.com.mt live blog.
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11:27 Good morning.
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