Court finds murder suspect’s rights have been breached

FILE PHOTO: Maltese businessman Yorgen Fenech, who was arrested in connection with an investigation into the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, arrives at the Courts of Justice in Valletta, Malta, November 29, 2019. REUTERS/Yara Nardi/File Photo

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The rights of Daphne Caruana Galizia murder suspect Yorgen Fenech’s rights were violated through the coronavirus public health emergency order that brought court proceedings to a standstill, a judge has ruled.

Fenech who stands accused of conspiring to murder journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, challenged the validity of an order issued by the Superintendent of Public Health, through his lawyers.

Mr Justice Lawrence Mintoff ruled that Fenech’s right to protection from arbitrary arrest or detention was breached by the order issued by the Superintendent of Public Health, when legal time-limits were suspended indefinitely. The court has ordered that the criminal proceedings should resume without any further delay.

Fenech has had his request for bail turned down repeatedly while the compilation of evidence before a magistrate’s court have been delayed due to the restrictions imposed since the outbreak of the coronavirus in Malta.

Fenech’s defence team argued that the legal notice through which court proceedings were suspended indefinitely had breached their client’s rights.

The compilation of evidence has been scheduled to continue on Monday.

Lawyers Gianluca Caruana Curran, Marion Camilleri and Charles Mercieca represented Fenech in the case.

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