Court rejects Fenech’s request for an interim measure

Jeremy Wonnacott (DOI)

The Court has rejected a request by murder suspect Yorgen Fenech for a court order to prevent police from testifying on the information he gave during meetings with the police in a bid to secure presidential pardon.

On Thursday, Madam Justice Anna Felice presiding over the First Hall of the Civil Court in its Constitutional jurisdiction turned down a request by Fenech for an interim measure.

Fenech had requested that the police do not testify on information which the accused had given them during their meetings until it is decided whether he would be given presidential pardon as an interim measure.

In her judgment on the matter, Madam Justice Felice began by pointing out that constitutional proceedings should never be used as an appeal.

The court ruled that the request for an interim measure was not justified. The court said that it could not consider a decree handed out by the Magistrates’ Court as a prima facie breach of a fundamental right. It added that the decree was handed down by a competent court. Furthermore there were no shortcomings in its form or substance.

Madam Justice Felice said that the aim of a compilation of evidence is essentially to preserve evidence. The court said that the validity of evidence can be contested at an opportune moment when a bill of indictment is issued and the accused is formally charged. Evidence can eventually be expunged if deemed inadmissible.

Regarding Fenech’s plea regarding the interest of the media in the current proceedings, the court said that the Magistrates’ Court is empowered to ban the publication of evidence given in court if the same court feels that this might prejudice ongoing proceedings.