Murder suspect Yorgen Fenech was denied bail once again by presiding magistrate Rachel Montebello.
This emerged at the end of a sitting on Wednesday following a five-hour sitting where two out of three Europol experts were cross-examined by the defence.
Fenech stands accused of being co-conspirator in the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
Magistrate Montebello had ruled on the request from her chambers on 27 November.
The Court referred to a previous decree on a similar request for bail handed down on 1 September saying that the circumstances in which that decision was taken did not change much. It reiterated its arguments outlined in the previous decree in which it rejected the request for bail.
It took note that the ongoing investigations in connection to the case are vast and complex adding that more people are being investigated.
The court noted that while the inquiring magistrate’s report into the murder was presented before it, the Attorney General had filed a note saying that the inquiry has to continue. The request was upheld and the report which was exhibited before the court presided over by Magistrate Montebello would eventually be sent back to the inquiring magistrate for the inquiry to resume.
The Court also highlighted that the investigations into the case are still ongoing. Furthermore, the data extracted from Fenech’s phone still needs to be investigated.
“Even at this stage, there is a concrete risk of tampering with evidence,” Magistrate Montebello said.
The Court turned down request for bail, as it urged the prosecution to continue with its investigations, adding that this should be done with expediency, diligence and efficacy.
During the sitting, Europol experts who flew into Malta earlier this week will faced cross-examination by murder suspect Yorgen Fenech’s defence team.
On Monday, three experts testified in court on the work they carried out on electronic ‘exhibits’ or devices seized from Fenech’s home, yacht and office when he was arrested in 2019.
The three experts who presented hard drives containing some 4 terabytes of data to the court, were in Malta 2019 to extract the data contained in the electronic devices. Two iPhones and 2 SIM cards which had been seized from Fenech and were taken to the Hague for data extraction, were returned to the court in sealed bags.
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A decree on bail request was not received by the parties, despite being in the system.
The next sitting is on 12 January 2021 at 10am.
They are now discussing the renvoi (rinviju), with Magistrate Montebello saying "I hope the renvoi does not end up in a race", adding that "ideally there is some collaboration between the parties".
Petrou steps off the stand.
That's all from Police Inspector Zahra.
Petrou says that each of them presented exhibits to the inquiring magistrate and they received a receipt after delivering them. The documents shown are the receipts they got after delivering the exhibits.
He is shown delivery papers.
Petrou explains that his team leader was not appointed to this case. The team leader supports the employees in the lab logistically.
Meanwhile inspector Zahra is to ask a few questions.
The court upheld the request and allowed the prosecution to continue its questioning next time.
Mercieca says that witness' deposition is suspended to avoid a repeat of what happened with Schembri's testimony, where the defence says it was deprived of an opportunity for cross-examination.
Magistrate Montebello tells the defence to regulate themselves and bring the witness as their witness for next time.
Cross-examination has been suspended.
The Maltese National Europol Unit is also at Europol. The offices are physically isolated and so is the local network.
Petrou: I will check
Mercieca: How is access granted?
Petrou: It is password protected and protected by log-on credentials.
Mercieca: Do the Maltese National Europol Unit have access to this data?
Petrou: No. This is the local network for the forensic team. The network is isolated.
Mercieca: Who has access to the data from your team with regards to this case?
Petrou explains that the local network at Europol is restricted and different teams have different areas.
– SIENA messages (Petrou will have to ask his team leader and find out the procedures);
– a list of the all exhibits he has worked on concerning the "explosion in Bidnija" (Petrou says he will need to ask for permission from the other court, with Magistrate Montebello saying that this court is authorizing him);
– the magistrates he has reported to before.
Mercieca asks the witness to prepare the following documents:
The court says that today's sitting was about a different task for which he was appointed, not the one two years before.
Mercieca says the defence is finding difficulty in accessing evidence submitted by Petrou in other parts of the investigation.
Magistrate Montebello says that for Melvin Theuma, the inquiry is separate and the process verbal is not part of these acts.
An issue on whether the questioning is relevant emerges. Camilleri and Caruana Curran says that the recordings of Melvin Theuma are an integral part of these proceedings.
Magistrate Montebello says that Petrou's other brief was for different court proceedings.
Mercieca insists that they are trying to make the most of it since the expert is a foreigner.
Magistrate Montebello says that the defence should then summon him as its own witness.
Mercieca asks the witness to prepare a list of the exhibits he extracted data from since 2017.
Asked about who seized the objects, Petrou says he does not know and he knows that the objects were seized due to the delivery forms.
Mercieca: How did you confirm they were sealed?
Petrou: Excuse me?! If you look at page 2 you will find the information.
Mercieca: Who photographed the objects? Was Fenech present?
Petrou: I did. No he wasn't
Mercieca: Were the exhibits sealed?
Petrou: I don't recall.
Mercieca: Did you extract data from any exhibits belonging to Melvin Theuma?
Petrou: Yes, she is a seconded national expert.
Mercieca: Is she a higher or lower level than you?
Petrou: We're on the same level under the same team leader.
Mercieca: Is Yulia T. part of your team?
Caruana Curran sits down next to the accused and exchanges some words with him.
"Sami and I are in the same team. Normally we don't send SIENA messages in the same team," Petrou says in response to a question as to why the information was transmitted verbally.
Montebello stops Mercieca from trying to extract words from the witness saying that the cross-examination should be held on what emerged during the examination in chief.
"Come on Dr Mercieca. This is an insult saying that the defence did not know that Europol were going to testify," Montebello says.
Mercieca: The defence did not know that Europol were testifying.
Petrou: One for this court, and one for the other court… but not sure.
Mercieca: You're not sure how many reports were prepared?
Petrou: I can't assume.
Mercieca: But you just assu…
Magistrate Montebello cuts him off "No, no, no!"
Mercieca: How many forensic reports have you prepared?
Petrou: After from the number.
Mercieca: There are several messages in between then. Were they about the case?
Petrou: I receive only the messages pertinent to my job.
Mercieca: Was the second SIENA message referred to in the report, received before or after the first?
"The SIENA message was to officialise the request from the Maltese authorities," Petrou replies to Mercieca.
Caruana Curran has a word with Fenech.
Petrou says that the exhibits he extracted data from between November 2019 to date are listed in the report.
Mercieca asks about the previous time.
Magistrate points out that this is a cross-examination following the presentation of a report. The witness was not asked to come here and testify on his appointment in a separate case.
"If anything summon the witness as a witness for the defence," Montebello says.
Mercieca asks about how many exhibits did he work on related to the assassination.
Petrou: Neville Camilleri
Mercieca: Did you inform him?
Mercieca: You said that you were going to present a data set to an inquiring magistrate, who is this inquiring magistrate?
Petrou was nominated as an expert in 2017. He presented exhibits to the court in 2018 and in 2019 he was appointed for this case and assigned new devices.
Petrou has been in Malta for four times including these two times i.e. November 2019 and this one.
He confirms that he re-run the extractions.
Petrou says that he had to run the data extraction in the Hague again.
Petrou: I finalized the imaging here. Some extractions were finalized here and others in the Hague.
The extractions were finalized in Europol.
Mercieca: How many courts did you report to?
Petrou: This one.
Mercieca: Did your colleagues report to other courts?
Magistrate: Don't answer. He won't answer for his colleagues.
Mercieca: Let me rephrase. Are you aware if your colleagues reported to other courts?
No one else from Europol arrived with him on 29 November, he says.
Petrou: To this court. If I'm not mistaken it was Mr Camilleri.
Mercieca: Who did you report to with regards to courts?
"You have to be clear what you are asking about," Petrou tells Mercieca.
Sami H. was nominated as a single point of contact with the Maltese authorities.
Petrou: The standard equipment used for data extraction.
Mercieca: How did you know what to pack if you did not know the details of the case?
Petrou: Well am doing this job for 17 years now and I kow what would be needed.
Mercieca: What did you pack to come here?
"We arrived late in the evening on 20 November. I wasn't even present for the searches when the exhibits were seized," Petrou says.
Petrou: We were informally informed. The SIENA message was an officialised request on the 21 November.
Mercieca: Did you ask why you were being sent to Malta?
"As I told you there was communication with my team leaders," Petrou says.
Petrou arrived in Malta before the request came in.
Petrou: I'm not sure.
Mercieca: I would like the SIENA message containing the request to be exhibited.
Mercieca: Is the SIENA message still in the system?
"I don't know who has access to what over SIENA. You need to ask Europol," Petrou says.
The witness is asked about SIENA messaging.
Petrou says that AP Weapons and Explosive received the request from the Maltese for assistance. It was assigned to his team then, Petrou explains.
Petrou: Digital forensic lab in the same position.
Mercieca: In he same position?
Petrou: My job title senior forensic examiner and investigator. My job is to perform forensic actions on digital exhibits.
Mercieca: Where did you start in Europol?
He started working at Europol in October 2013.
He was in the police, then he was in the forensic lab and then in the anti-terrorism unit.
Petrou has been working in law enforcement since 1996. Before that he was a student, the witness tells Mercieca.
Totaro's cross-examination is postponed to a later date. He steps off the stand and leaves the courtroom.
"Sami H., my colleagues provided the exhibits. Apart from those provided by Yulia T.," he replies.
Mercieca cross-examination of Totaro continues. He asks who provided the exhibits.
Totaro confirms the corrections. He signs next to the corrections.
While the court is dictating a note to the registrar, Fenech stands up and speaks to his lawyers.
The request is upheld and Police Inspector Zahra takes over.
Arnaud asks for permission to leave the hall as he is required elsewhere. The defence pretends to object, in jest.
While the court is approving the request, Totaro is correcting his report.
The defence is requesting also that the hard drives bearing serial numbers indicated in the report are presented in court.
Mercieca says that the mislabelling of the hard drives does not appear to be a lapsus calami but a conscious decision taken by the Europol team.
Defence says he should present an updated report.
Court says expediency requires otherwise. "You don't know what can happen."
Arnaud asks for the witness to correct the report with the correct serial numbers in court.
More document serial numbers and corresponding exhibits are read out.
Totaro is asked to look at five papers.
The court upholds the request.
Arnaud tells the court that he would like to show the witness some documents from the proceedings of the case which refer to the exhibits that he has returned.
The SIM card was always kept separated from the iPhone.
Totaro: In the condition it is now. It was always separated from the iPhone.
Arnaud: Do you know the date when you put the exhibit safe?
Totaro: When I finished the extraction. It is in the log of the hard drive.
Arnaud: With regards to the exhibits (SIM card). Can you tell us the condition of the SIM card when it was received and when it was placed inside the safe at Europol?
Totaro: She's a colleague and in my team – digital forensics team.
Arnaud: Who is Yulia T.?
The codes relate to the SIENA report, Totaro explains.
Arnaud asks why the report was coded as H0 H1.
Arnaud is re-examining the witness.
Cross-examination of Totaro has been put off for a later date.
Totaro: No, because it was not in my possession.
Mercieca: Was Fenech's phone held in this room?
Mercieca says that he has other questions for the witness which he would ask at a later stage. He would like also the witness to bring forward some other documents.
Totaro: At the Malta Security Services' premises.
Mercieca: The locality?
Totaro: No, I don't no.
Mercieca: Were you the only ones with access to the room?
Totaro: To the best of my knowledge, yes.
Mercieca: Where was the room you worked in?
Totaro: Petrou, Sami H. and Torres, I interacted with them.
Mercieca: Did you interact with other Europol members?
Totaro: There was an analyst but I didn't interact with them.
Mercieca: Who were the other Europol members you have interacted with during those days?
Totaro: I arrived with Petrou and Torres.
Mercieca: What about Yulia T. and Sami H.?
Totaro: Sami was here. I don't remember seeing Yulia in Malta during those days.
Mercieca: How did you arrive in Malta? Who did you arrive with in Malta?
Totaro: If you are asking if I had interaction with those exhibits before that date, the answer is no. Because I had them on 26 October 2020.
Mercieca: Did you at any point before 26 October 2020 interact with the exhibit consisting of Fenech's phone?
Mercieca has a quick word with Fenech.
The magistrate informs the parties that she will allow the prosecution re-examination of the witness as long as they ask on what he has testified about today.
Set C 1 and 2 correspond to what is written in the report.
The witness looks at the hard drives and confirms that these are not the ones mentioned in the report.
The witness is shown two boxes containing hard drives.
Magistrate Montebello emerges from her chambers.
Fenech is escorted back in.
The deputy registrar informs those present that for someone to remove their mask they need to ask permission from the court. This has been said before in open court.
While we are waiting for the session to resume, Fenech's relatives are eating. The deputy registrar emerges and tells them off.
Session suspended until the hard drives are brought into the courtroom.
Arnaud informs the court that they would like to examine the witness following the cross examination.
Mercieca informs the court that they would like to suspend the cross examination and continue at a later stage.
Totaro explains that they changed their mind and selected drives which were more convenient for them to copy all the data onto them.
Mercieca: Can you confirm to us that these devices exist?
While in the report they said that the data is saved two hard drives.
Mercieca notes that the serial number is also on the report.
The issue is that in reality the copies of data are two – hard drives for set A and set B. Set C consists of 2 hard drives.
Fenech's wife lowers her mask.
"Three sets of hard drives consisting of two hard drives each."
The hard drives will be brought to the court room.
There is evidently a mistake in the report.
Totaro: Yes I confirm that set A and B jointly.
Mercieca: Do you confirm that set A and set B are the same which you exhibited with your colleagues two days ago?
Mercieca says that his question relates to the actual hard drives.
Mercieca rephrases the question.
Magistrate Montebello says that the report XYZ3 is by Petrou.
Mercieca wants to ask the witness a question in relation to their joint testimony.
Police Inspector Zahra: This question cannot be asked here.
Totaro says he did that already two days ago.
Mercieca says that Totaro in his report mentions three sets of data. He asks him to present it to the court.
Totaro says he has nothing else to exhibit.
The phone after the examination is switched off and is kept in the safe.
Totaro: The members of the digital forensic unit.
Mercieca: Who has excess to the safe?
Totaro: It was placed in the safe at Europol HQ.
Mercieca: What did you do with the phone after the extraction?
Totaro: According to the delivery paper – Sami H. received it and Yulia T. was in possession of the phone before me.
Mercieca: Who would be able to give us a list of the people who worked on the iPhone?
Totaro confirms that the number of the evidence bag is correct.
The rest of the bags are handed to the court registrar.
Dr Mercieca shows Totaro an evidence bag.
Exhibits cannot leave Europol headquarters.
Totaro: My colleague was in possession of the phone.
Mercieca: You don't know who worked on this phone before you?
The lawyers signal Fenech to reach them. He leaves his bench and walks up to his lawyers.
Totaro: Am not aware. I can tell that my colleague had the phone before this date.
Mercieca: Is there a digital certificate/stamp which would show us how many people worked on the phone?
Totaro: Sometimes from home and sometimes from work.
Magistrate: Did you work on the phone at home or at work?
Totaro: the operation took 2-3 days and all operational work was done at Europol offices.
Mercieca: Were you working from home? Did you work from home on the phone?
"Due to the pandemic we cannot meet. We met in our offices," Totaro says.
Mercieca asks Totaro to present the email in which this instruction was given.
"The only instruction I received from the head of the unit was to inform me that I was in charge of data acquisition and extraction of the data," Totaro says.
Fenech leaves his bench and is talking to Camilleri who has the phones in the evidence bags. He takes his seat.
The phone was kept isolated in a flight mode.
Mercieca is pressing the witness whether Yulia T. created an image of the phone.
"The phone was charged and kept on according to the SOP," Totaro replies.
"I am not aware of any other images of this phone being created," Totaro says.
Totaro explains that since the phone was on when it was seized, the evidence bag was not sealed because according to the standard operating procedure to keep the phone charged and not allow it to turn off.
Totaro says that he cannot report on what his colleague did and that he could not reply on what Yulia T. did.
Totaro: Yulia was in possession of the phone. I got it from her she was going to work on it but it was then assigned to me.
Mercieca: When you first worked on the phone to do data acquisition, are you aware if someone else worked on it?
Totaro says that he was given the phone by Yulia T. The task was assigned by the head of Europol.
The court messenger hands over the two iPhones and the two SIM cards contained in evidence bags to Mercieca who lays them on the defence bench.
The deputy registrar is back in the court room with the evidence.
Police Superintendent Arnaud intervenes saying that this is not a good place to be revealing Europol's operational capabilities.
Mercieca is asking about the software being used by Europol in general.
Totaro: We use advance equipment for all the phases of data acquisition and extraction.
Mercieca: Does you use the most advance equipment?
"I don't who seized the devices, I know that they were seized and who delivered them to me," Totaro replies.
Totaro: I didn't have the phone before 26 October 2020. The two iPhones were with the SIM detached at the time I received them.
Mercieca: What can you tell us in relation to Fenech's phone?
Totaro: I was told on 26 October 2020 to work on these exhibits. I received them from my colleague Yulia T.
Mercieca: Who else worked on the phones aside from you?
He will continue his cross-examination while the court messenger brings the items to the courtroom.
Mercieca asks the court for the mobile phones and SIM cards exhibited by the witness last Monday.
Mercieca is challenging the chain of custody.
Totaro says that they had equipment in Malta which allowed them to extract data from some exhibits. The two iPhones and SIM cards were taken to the Hague because they were locked and data could only be extracted there using equipment which could not be brought to Malta.
Fenech was not present for any part of this process which took place at the Malta Security Service premises.
He does not recall if his colleagues Petrou and Torres saw him doing this process. He returned the objects to the evidence bag himself.
Mercieca asks if the process of sealing the devices was documented. Totaro says that he did not photograph the process. He sealed and signed the evidence bag inside the room provided to them by the Malta Security Services.
After the extraction, Totaro did not photograph the objects again.
Totaro says that there are two phases to the process – data acquisition and data extraction.
"Acquisition" is the operation carried out to acquire all the data in device before extraction, Totaro explains to the court.
Totaro says that he did not generate this number.
He says that the value 'N' was on the evidence bag he received.
Mercieca asks Totaro about the list of exhibits in his report.
Totaro requests to sit because of pain. The request is granted.
Totaro: This is applicable to all forensic work.
Mercieca: You also mentioned in your disclaimer that some data was not extracted. Is this the case?
Totaro says that in some cases it was not possible to have a hash value. He explains that the hash value is a signature related to data used to demonstrate that the data has not been altered.
Mercieca asks about the hash values.
Totaro cannot recall when they tested the equipment adding that it would not be far from when they were here.
Totaro explains that software and hardware is tested before they use it.
Mercieca asks about the equipment.
Totaro says that they did not film the procedure of the extraction of data.
Totaro: I photographed the items. Fenech was not present.
Mercieca: Who physically analysed them?
Mercieca: Where did you carry out this?
Totaro: At the room given to us by the Maltese security services which we only had access to it.
Mercieca: Who photographed the exhibits? Was Fenech presented?
Totaro: I can't say who did because they were delivered to me from my colleague Sami.
Mercieca: May I remove the mask?
Magistrate: Yes, if your colleagues don't have any objections.
Mercieca: Who seized the exhibits?
Mercieca puts on his mask.
Mercieca: You did?
Totaro: I didn't receive
Zahra: He told you twice
Mercieca: It could be because he is wearing his own mask
Magistrate: Apart from the fact that you should be wearing your own mask [she directs this comment at Mercieca]
"I didn't receive any more messages related to the case," Totaro says.
Totaro is being questioned about the SIENA messages related to his appointment. Without the report it is not easy to understand what they are referring to.
Totaro says that the first SIENA message is the background. The second message relates to the request mentioned in the report and another SIENA message related to whether the report was finalized.
The lawyer asks Totaro to clarify if there are three requests about the same subject matter.
Totaro says that the request came from the Maltese police Europol Unit.
The report mentions a request.
The message had information referred to in the first message.
Mercieca asks about the second SIENA message. Witness does not recall when it was received.
Mercieca asks who has access to it.
"I have access. I don't know who else has access to this message."
"Would you be able to present it in another sitting?"
"I would have to check with Europol," Totaro replies.
The message was sent on 21 November 2019.
"Did you see it?"
"I saw this message. It is related to the explosion," he says.
Totaro says that the AP Weapons and Explosives and the digital forensics received this SIENA message.
Totaro: The access is based on the role. I can't have access to all the SIENA system.
Mercieca: From the Europol website: "The Secure Information Exchange Network Application (SIENA) is a state-of-the-art platform that meets the communication needs of EU law enforcement" would you agree?
Mercieca: If I suggest to you that the law enforcement agencies have access to SIENA system would I be correct?
Totaro explains that he has access to SIENA system according to his role at Europol.
The Secure Information Exchange Network Application (SIENA) is a platform that meets the communication needs of EU law enforcement.
The platform enables the swift and user-friendly exchange of operational and strategic crime-related information among:
– Europol’s liaison officers, analysts and experts
– Member States
– third parties with which Europol has cooperation agreements.
Mercieca asks Totaro to explain what a SIENA message is.
Totaro: Following the acquisition and extraction of the data, this was stored in hard drives I had with me.
Mercieca: Where did you keep the data?
"I believe we met the magistrate only once when we delivered the exhibits," Totaro says.
Totaro says that Petrou, Torres and himself went to the court together to deliver the exhibits. He adds that to him personally it was not Sammi that informed him.
Mercieca: Male or female?
Mercieca: Do you remember the name of the magistrate?
Totaro: The only contact was when we delivered the exhibits on 22 November 2019.
Magistrate: All of them?
Totaro: All except the exhibits which I have exhibited before this court.
Mercieca: When you were in Malta did you have any contact with the inquiring magistrate who nominated you?
Mercieca: When was the last extraction?
Totaro: Last one was 26 November 2020 to finalize the report. So the report was finalized on 27 November 2020.
Mercieca: You finalized the report after the extractions were carried out correct?
"Let's talk about the extractions in your reports," Mercieca says.
In Malta he worked with Petrou and Torres, he said.
"Was Marco Torre in this team?" Mercieca asks.
"No." Totaro says.
Torre is a former Europol employee. Totaro says he was not involved in the case.
Totaro liaised with Sami who liaised with the police.
The office is in the Hague, points out Mercieca. Who did you liaise with in Malta?
The case is related to the explosion mentioned in [the report], he continues.
"I was nominated to examine the exhibits in the case no. 1292035461" Totaro says.
Totaro: I don't recall the name we just reported the nomination. I was asked to come to Malta.
Mercieca goes to page 3 and asks: In the third paragraph there is indicated that you have been nominated by the inquiring magistrate. Who was it?
"When I finished compiling the report. When I finalized the report," Totaro replies.
Mercieca refers Totaro to the date on the top left of his report's front page.
He has been in Europol since 2018. He was assigned to this case in November 2019. They were in Malta between 20-23 November.
Totaro is replying to questions by Mercieca.
He then worked in security with Nasa in the United States and then joined Europol.
He was chief technology officer in the Italian Police Force for two years and a half.
Totaro is graduated in computer science. He has a PhD in computer science and several masters in digital forensics plus a host of other certifications.
The defence will cross-examine Totaro first.
"Nothing and nobody is going to change the procedure before this court. If needs be we will wait until February," the magistrate adds.
The acts must be sent to the Attorney General today, she says.
"Nothing and nobody is going to change the procedure before this court. If needs be we will wait until February," the magistrate adds.
The acts must be sent to the Attorney General today, she says.
The court insists that the copies of the hard drive must be handed out in open court and not collected from the magistrate's chambers as suggested by Jason Azzopardi.
There appears to have been a misunderstanding on the copies and who and when they are to be given out.
"We would like to have another opportunity to cross examine the experts as it is humanely impossible," Dr Mercieca says.
Montebello says that the copies have to be given out, adding that to make a copy it would take approximately half a day.
Dr Mercieca says the defence did not have the opportunity to see the content of the hard drives yet.
Magistrate Montebello enters the courtroom. We're in session.
While we wait, Dr Camilleri is at the defence bench, Dr Mercieca is speaking to a guard, while Fenech is speaking to Dr Caruana Curran. Police Superintendent Arnaud and police inspector Zahra are having a word at their bench. Dr Galea Farrugia is seated at the prosecution bench.
Fenech moves to his bench. Dr Camilleri walks in.
A court official just delivered a large suitcase into Hall 9.
We're waiting for the records of the case to be delivered to the courtroom.
Dr Therese Comodini Cachia walks in.
Dr Mercieca walks in and joins them.
He takes a seat at the defence bench and has a word with Dr Caruana Curran.
Murder suspect Yorgen Fenech is escorted into the courtroom.
Deputy AG Philip Galea Farrugia walks into the courtroom.
Magistrate Rachel Montebello is presiding over other cases at the moment.
Police Superintendent Keith Arnaud, parte civile lawyer Dr Jason Azzopardi and defence lawyers Gianluca Caruana Curran and Charles Mercieca are present in the courtroom.
Good morning and welcome to this live blog.
Police Superintendent Keith Arnaud and Police Inspector Kurt Zahra are leading the prosecution.
Deputy Attorney General Philip Galea Farrugia is appearing on behalf of the AG’s office.
Lawyers Jason Azzopardi and Therese Comodini Cachia are appearing on behalf of the family.
Lawyers Marion Camilleri, Gianluca Caruana Curran and Charles Mercieca are appearing for the accused.
Magistrate Rachel Montebello is presiding over the court.