The Court of Magistrates is expected to decided on a fresh request for bail submitted on behalf of murder suspect Yorgen Fenech.
During Monday’s sitting Fenech and his legal team made a fresh request for bail, with the lawyers arguing that Fenech’s fundamental rights were being breached.
Magistrate Rachel Montebello is presiding over the case.
Police Inspectors Keith Arnaud and Kurt Zahra are prosecuting.
Lawyers Jason Azzopardi and Therese Comodini Cachia are appearing for the family.
Lawyers Marion Camilleri, Gianluca Caruana Curran and Charles Mercieca are appearing for Yorgen Fenech.
The next hearing will be on 6 October at 10am.
Magistrate Montebello says that ideally he is present.
Dr Mercieca says that a similar method should be adopted when analyzing Fenech's devices.
Arnaud clarifies that the request was only for devices seized from third-parties in relation to the case.
The defence asks for the accused to be present.
The parties will then have to agree on which content should be brought as evidence in these proceedings.
After the data is copied, the information is analysed by the prosecution and the defence, in the presence of the court expert.
They will view the data in a specific room and choose from there.
The court says that it could appoint a court expert to make a detailed inventory.
Dr Galea-Farrugia says that he is aware that among the devices seized which belongs to Theuma's partner's daughter.
Dr Mercieca says that the defence is insisting to have access to the full device.
Dr Mercieca notes that when the Europol presented evidence related to Melvin Theuma's phone, Europol gave parties access to Theuma's phone without any filtering. He says that the defence then acted professionally by not bringing any evidence which is not related to the case.
Dr Camilleri says that first they need to have access.
Arnaud explains his idea in detail. While the defence team are already standing up, waiting for their turn to speak.
He maintains that through such an exercise, one could safeguard the privacy of third parties who are in no way linked to the case.
He says that keywords could be suggested and the data could be sifted.
Alternatively the court expert could prepare a report.
Arnaud says that Fenech's phone contains a lot of data including data concerning his children and family. He suggests the appointment of an expert to filter the data. He refers to case law from the European Court of Human Rights. He cites SIGRÍÐUR ELÍN SIGFÚSDÓTTIR v. ICELAND saying that it was similar to this case.
The court has turned down the defence request's for a reference to the constitutional court.
The experts who extracted the data are set to testify in the proceedings.
The court says that the defence did not clarify which evidence it was referring to when complaining that it lacked access to evidence.
The magistrate says that the data cannot be handed over because it still subject to investigation, also noting it is also set to be exhibited in the court.
The court was asked to request a reference to the constitutional court to determine whether Fenech's fundamental rights were breached.
The court will now decide on the request for a constitutional reference made by defence. The court is suspended briefly.
Magistrate Montebello says that the prosecution should carry out its investigations diligently and efficiently.
She says that denying bail at this stage, does not mean that the prosecution has any right to stall the investigation.
The court says that there is a real risk to the tampering of evidence.
that it seems that the accused did not act alone,
the investigation is still active,
other people considered to be person of interest to the police,
among other reasons.
The court gives a variety of reasons why Fenech should not be granted bail including:
She notes that there have been attempts of collusion with third-parties to destroy evidence.
Magistrate Montebello notes that the investigation is still active.
She points out previous escape plots and the fact that Fenech was arrested attempting to abscond on his pleasure boat.
The Magistrate said while it is true that his family and business ties are in Malta, the fear of him absconding is not so 'remote'.
Magistrate Montebello is rushing through the decree.
The Magistrate says that she does not agree with defence's assertion that Fenech's right to freedom is being breached.
The court refers to EU case law in its decree.
The court deems the AG's reply as inadmissible because it was submitted late.
The magistrate will now read the decree.
Dr Galea Farrugia says that in his reply he gave an exhaustive list on why the murder suspect should not be granted bail.
Magistrate Montebello asks whether the prosecution has any submissions to make on the bail request.
The prosecution is aware that they have to bring evidence which is both in favour and against the accused, Mercieca says.
'Fenech is asking for something which he owns, and the prosecution turns down his request,' he concludes.
Dr Mercieca says that the police had Fenech's mobile from day 1 from the investigations.
Dr Mercieca says that from the questions asked and from what appeared in local media shows that the prosecution and the parte civile have access to the data.
The lawyer says that it might be too late when the defence team gets a copy of the data.
The lawyer says that there is not an equality of arms. He says that Fenech has been asking for his mobile for months.
Dr Mercieca says he will explain why they asked for a reference.
Magistrate Montebello refers to the reference made to the constitutional court. She asks whether the parties would like to make any submissions.
Arnaud says that the police had exhibited all the files extracted by Europol, including the corrupted files.
The court asks about Police Inspector about the data that was extracted from Theuma's devices.
Magistrate Montebello apologizes for the delay, she says that yesterday's sitting meant a lot of work.
After almost an hour behind schedule, Magistrate Rachel Montebello walks in. We're in session.
In the meantime here is a recap from yesterday:
– Yorgen Fenech, Joseph Muscat and Keith Schembri had a WhatsApp group between them
– Fenech had described his relationship with Muscat and Schembri as though they were like brothers
– Muscat was questioned 'under caution' at the police headquarters last week over claims made by Fenech
– the police are investigating Fenech's attempt to procure cyanide
– Fenech showed 'no remorse' during the interrogation
The courtroom is packed with some unfamiliar faces. We're waiting for today's hearing to begin.
Murder suspect Yorgen Fenech is escorted into the courtroom, his mother waves at him.
Police Inspectors Keith Arnaud and Kurt Zahra have entered the courtroom, as well as Dr Jason Azzopardi.
A court official just informed those present that the hearing will be delayed by 20 minutes.
Dr Philip Galea Farrugia and Nadia Attard from the Attorney General's Office walk into the courtroom.
Already present in the courtroom is the family of the murder suspect Yorgen Fenech.
Good afternoon and welcome to this live blog. We're live from Hall 20.