Court deplores allegations made by Fenech in court application

Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Magistrate Rachel Montebello has denied a request made by Yorgen Fenech through his defence team earlier in October.

In a court ruling handed down on Tuesday, the Court deplored the allegations made by the accused in his request that it had already given instructions with regards to what happens with the data extracted from Fenech’s phone. The Court said that it has not given any directives on what should be exhibited from the data which was extracted from the electronic equipment which was seized from the accused.

The gathering of evidence against murder suspect Yorgen Fenech continued on Wednesday during which the Court made reference to the ruling.

Fenech stands accused of being an accomplice in the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

In his court application, Fenech referred to a court sitting in which the court upheld a similar request in the case of the data extracted from Melvin Theuma’s electronic equipment and that belonging to his relatives. The accused went on to claim that the Court had given an indication that the same will be done with Fenech’s data.

Fenech had filed a request asking for the appointment of an expert to set up a data room in which the data that Europol have extracted from Fenech’s phone and which is set to be exhibited in court in a future sitting is sifted according to its relevance to the case.

The murder suspect maintained that the request took into consideration that the data might contain information on third parties which if divulged in public would prejudice their right to a private life.

The Attorney General as well as the parte civile objected to the request arguing that since the court experts which were appointed in the inquiry into murder had been tasked with extracting all the data on electronic equipment which was seized by the police from Fenech, they have to exhibit all the data extracted during the compilation and not just part of it.

The data is part of the evidence to be presented in court while it is gathering and preserving evidence. The AG and the parte civile argued that the decision on which evidence would be brought before the jurors is a decision to be taken by the Criminal Court.

In its ruling the court said that the accused is aware that no such directives were given by the court on the data extracted from his electronic devices.

Magistrate Rachel Montebello is presiding over court.

Police Inspectors Kurt Zahra and Keith Arnaud are prosecuting.

Lawyers Marion Camilleri, Gianluca Caruana Curran and Charles Mercieca are appearing for the accused.

Lawyers Jason Azzopardi and Therese Comodini Cachia are parte civile while Dr Philip Galea Farrugia and Dr Nadia Attard are appearing on behalf of the Office of the Attorney General.