Fenech’s legal team request Melvin Theuma’s mental health to be assessed

Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The compilation of evidence against Yorgen Fenech, accused of complicity in the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, continued today.

Highlights from today’s court sitting;

  • Magistrate Rachel Montebello orders the Police to investigate how recordings were leaked
  • The court ordered also an investigation on the media outlets which published the recording and that Police should take action against them
  • Yorgen Fenech’s legal team requests the court to assess the mental state of pardoned middleman Melvin Theuma
  • Logan Wood, the Captain of Fenech’s yacht says that the trip to Sicily had been planned a month before
  • Wood mentions how journalists were on the scene on the day they were expected to leave Portomaso with Fenech’s yacht
  • The witness also says that Fenech told him “we have nothing to hide”
11:56 That is it for today. Thank you for following.
Amy Borg
11:56 The next court sitting will take place on Tuesday at 10 am.
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11:54 The defence team requests that Johann Cremona is again summoned to testify.

The Magistrate says that before that, the transcription process needs to be finalized.

Inspector Arnaud says that the process is ongoing.
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11:54 During the next court sitting, Dr Adrian Vella is expected to testify.
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11:53 Logan Wood's testimony ends here.
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11:53 He also mentions how the Fenech family frequently visits La Spezia.
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11:52 A week before they left Fenech was abroad said Logan Wood.
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11:52 Fenech tells Wood "We have nothing to hide"
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11:46 He is asked to give a description of the yacht Gio.
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11:46 He explains that they are not obliged to inform the Valletta Port Control when they leave the harbour.
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11:45 Woods says that journalists left when they saw nothing was happening.
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11:44 Lawyer Marion Camilleri is questioning Logan Woods.
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11:44 Woods will now be cross-examined.
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11:43 Magistrate Montebello objects to the questions by the prosecution.
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11:43 The photographer says they had a tip-off from a nearby apartment.
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11:42 He mentions Matthew Mirabelli, a Times of Malta photographer.
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11:41 Logan Woods explains that another 3 media persons came close to the boat.
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11:40 During the past 9 yrs it was normal that Fenech would stay a few days in Sicily and the captain returns to Malta immediately.
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11:39 He says he does not know what Fenech's plan was but they intended to come back to Malta with the Catamaran.
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11:38 Woods says that they were scheduled to arrive at 7:30 am as the trip takes between 2 hours.
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11:37 He said that he had informed Fenech about "tal-gazzetti" and told him that when they leave he will inform him. In fact when they left he said "The coast is clear".
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11:37 He also says that he had seen in the media that Fenech was being linked to Daphne's murder.
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11:35 The captain says that that night they intended to switch off the AIS as journalists were near the marina. At around 10/11 pm a journalist (tal-gazzetti) spoke to him. Woods said he did not know who he was but told him there was the intention for someone to escape.
Amy Borg
11:33 Woods also said that Fenech told him not to worry as they are trying to make a whole scene out of it and say "we are trying to escape".
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11:32 The captain says they were doing nothing wrong. Fenech can be seen agreeing to what Woods is testifying.
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11:31 One of the marina securities messaged the captain to speak to Fenech that the CID is following him so better they be careful.
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11:30 Around 6 to 8 armed officers went on board including AFM officers.
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11:28 He then recalls how as soon as they left, within 5 to 10 minutes, he saw the police and ordered him to return to port and all those on board are to stay at the front of the boat.
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11:28 He says that both slept on the boat so that they would be ready to leave early morning.
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11:24 Prosecution asks Woods why were the plans changed from December to November 19th. He says that he had plans during December and that Fenech and himself agreed to take the trip on the 19th of November.
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11:20 He also says that for such a trip he is usually accompanied by members of the Tumas Group family and sometimes by other boat captains – friends of his.
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11:19 Woods says he knew the trip was scheduled a month before.

On the eve he prepared the boat but did not need a crew as the boat was small.
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11:18 He says that the trip usually takes place between November and January.
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11:17 Woods says that between the 19th and 20th of November last year they were leaving Portomaso and were heading to Sicily for yacht maintenance in Pozzallo.
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11:13 Wood says he is responsible for Fenech's two yachts and that he has been working with Tumas Group for around 11 years.
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11:12 Logan Wood takes the witness stand.
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11:11 The captain of Yorgen Fenech's yacht will testify today.
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11:06 Magistrate Montebello says that the court has the right to confirm when Theuma is again ready to testify.

After Theuma's testimony had ended, he was to face cross-examination.
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10:59 Yorgen Fenech takes a seat next to his defence team.
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10:58 The deputy AG says it is premature for a psychiatrist exam as Theuma still needs to regain his health.
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10:52 The defence lawyers have made a request to the court to appoint a psychiatrist to examine Melvin Theuma's mental state.
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10:51 Arnaud said that he expects Dr Mercieca to mention everything.
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10:50 Inspector Keith Arnaud said that the defence lawyers are trying to give the impression that the prosecution had the intention of hiding certain recording when this is not true.
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10:48 The deputy AG Dr Philip Galea Farrugia says that the investigations Mercieca has mentioned are underway.

he also says that he is perplexed with the way Lawyer Charles Mercieca is defending Mr Simon Mercieca especially since he is Fenech's lawyer.
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10:46 Yorgen Fenech nods his head as a sign of approval to what his lawyer is saying especially when Mercieca asked if Theuma was investigated on what was heard in the recordings.
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10:45 Mercieca questions how is it possible that Melvin Theuma had at his disposal certain documents prior to his arrest. He questions if Theuma was investigated on this .
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10:40 He mentions how the AG has not filed an investigation when Keith Schembri's phone was lost or on Melvin Theuma's pardon.
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10:39 Mercieca says that the AG has condemned the persons who leaked the recordings rather than focusing on their content.
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10:36 Defence lawyer Charles Mercieca says he is surprised how the AG is requesting an investigation into an alleged contempt of court.
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10:34 On Monday Newsbook.com.mt editorial explained why the Theuma recording was not published by the news portal.

The editorial explained how the sound clips give two clear messages: they put in play the cupidity of former Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar and they portray middleman Melvin Theuma as a vacillating and often gullible player. So, the crucial question here is: Who stands to gain?

Newsbook.com.mt chose not to publish in the interest of truth and justice.

Read more: https://newsbook.com.mt/en/why-newsbook-did-not-publish-the-theuma-recordings/
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10:29 After granting Lawyer Jason Azzopardi's request, Magistrate Montebello ordered criminal proceedings to be taken against Mr Simon Mercieca who has published voice recordings on Wednesday.
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10:26 The defence lawyers ask for clarifications on issues mentioned by the Attorney General. The court orders that such a request is directed towards the AD and the prosecution.
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10:22 Magistrate Montebello has ordered the Police to investigate how were the recordings leaked and ordered an investigation on the media outlets which published them and to take action against them.
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10:21 The Magistrate said that the publication was an offence towards the court.
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10:18 Magistrate Montebello has condemned the publication of recordings by certain media outlets. The recordings were heard by the court on the 22nd of July.
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10:16 Magistrate Montebello says that she took note of the Attorney General's note on the 10th of August and that the court had already ordered for the transcriptions to be re done.
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10:12 Magistrate Rachel Montebello has entered the courtroom.
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10:05 The accused, Yorgen Fenech has entered the courtroom. Members of his family are present.
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10:04 Defence lawyers Gianluca Caruana Curran and Marion Camilleri have entered the courtroom.
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10:03 Lawyers Jason Azzopardi and Therese Comodini Cachia are present inside the courtroom together with members of the Caruana Galizia family.
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10:03 We are live from courtroom 22.
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09:53 Today's sitting is expected to start at 10 am.
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09:53 Welcome to Newsbook.com.mt live blog.
Amy Borg
09:52 Good morning.
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