Fenech’s team given two days to indicate more witnesses in constitutional proceedings

Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The Constitutional Court has given murder suspect Yorgen Fenech’s legal team two more days to clarify who they would like to bring to testify in these proceedings.

Fenech who stands accused of financing the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, is contesting the involvement of chief investigator police inspector Keith Arnaud in the murder investigation.

Tuesday’s sitting was called by the Court which is set to give its ruling on the case on 23 September. The Court noted that it did not receive any submissions from the plaintiff’s team and that there had been other developments before different courts.

During the sitting, Fenech’s team explained that due to the ongoing developments they could not submit their submissions. It also asked whether it was still possible to summon new witnesses in these proceedings.

The Court is set on its deadline for the ruling but gave Fenech’s legal team two days to clarify who they would like to summon in these proceedings.

Lawyers Dr Marion Camilleri, Gianluca Caruana Curran and Charles Mercieca are assisting Yorgen Fenech.

11:28 Thank you for following this live blog. At 12.30pm, we will be live from the Court of Magistrates over a bail request submitted during yesterday's sitting.
Monique Agius
11:27 The case will continue on 9 September at 8.45am.
Monique Agius
11:26 Mr Justice Mintoff says that other evidence they would like to bring before the court should be justified in the request.
Monique Agius
11:24 The court says that the deadline remains 23 September.

The Court has given the plaintiff two days to indicate other evidence he would like to bring in these proceedings.

Dr Camilleri points out that Dr Vella's testimony given before the Magistrate Court has not been transcribed.
Monique Agius
11:21 Dr Camilleri says that despite having asked for Dr Vella's statement to the police and they were not given this statement.

Mr Justice Mintoff says the plaintiff could have summoned Dr Vella to testify in these proceedings, in the same way, Keith Schembri was called to testify.
Monique Agius
11:20 The Court says it has heard enough and it is time for the parties to make their specific requests.
Monique Agius
11:17 Mr Justice Mintoff says that he had scheduled the hearing for the sentence. He adds he did not receive the submissions from the parties, saying that now they gave a reason why they have not done so yet.

He asks whether the Court should give a decision as though it was in vacuum or whether it should hear the parties in view of the recent developments. He highlights that this is being done in the interest of justice.
Monique Agius
11:16 Mr Justice Mintoff asks whether in her opinion the court should decide on the case without taking into consideration the recent developments.
Monique Agius
11:16 Dr Buttigieg points out that the hearing is happening today, not because Fenech's legal team requested it, but because the Court felt that it needs to inform the parties and hear what they have to say.
Monique Agius
11:15 Dr Mercieca says that the investigators had evidence since 2017 which they did not investigate. He adds that these raise serious concern.
Monique Agius
11:14 Dr Mercieca refers to the testimony given by Arnaud and Zahra's testimony before the court of magistrates. The lawyer questions whether the investigations has stalled or whether they have stopped investigating altogether.
Monique Agius
11:12 Dr Camilleri underlines that these happened after the court scheduled its decision for 23 September.

Dr Mercieca adds that some witnesses gave a questionable testimony.
Monique Agius
11:10 Dr Camilleri tells the court that for their legal team it is important to know whether the court would allow other evidence to be submitted before this court.

She says that everyone knows what happened to Melvin Theuma. She reminds that Cutajar had testified in these proceedings as a Police Commissioner but since then more has come out on his relationship with others linked to the case. He is also under investigation, she says.
Monique Agius
11:08 Dr Buttigieg says that the decree is important. She notes that the evidence brought before the Court of Magistrates are not available for public consumption, with some proceedings happening behind closed doors.

Dr Buttigieg says that on the point of disclosure, there is a separate decree by the Court of Magistrates.
Monique Agius
11:07 She says that it is useless to add issues to the acts which are not relevant to the case. Referring to Dr Vella's testimony before the court of magistrates, Dr Buttigieg says that Arnaud had testified similarly in this case.
Monique Agius
11:06 State Advocate Dr Buttigieg is next. She refers to the application filed by Fenech.
Monique Agius
11:04 The defence says that their client has not been given full disclosure – in favour and against – to this day. Dr Mercieca adds that this impedes Fenech from preparing his case.

Dr Mercieca accuses Arnaud of denying Fenech from his right to disclosure.
Monique Agius
11:04 Dr Mercieca says that there have been recent developments which are relevant to these proceedings. He says that developments in the case are not spaced out over months but almost day to day.
Monique Agius
11:02 Dr Mercieca says that as the court pointed out, the plaintiff was going to use that evidence to build on it. The lawyer says that his client thinks that the evidence given by Dr Adrian Vella should be given weight.

Dr Mercieca mentions Lawrence Cutajar's testimony and Arnaud's testimony during the compilation of evidence, should be part of these acts.
Monique Agius
11:00 Dr Mercieca says that the plaintiff, Yorgen Fenech, has submitted a request before this court.

Mr Justice Mintoff says that the way the application was written could have never been accepted.

"That type of evidence is not admissible," the court says.
Monique Agius
11:00 Mr Justice Mintoff says that the court felt that it needed to highlight these shortcomings.
Monique Agius
10:59 Mr Justice Mintoff says that like every one else on the island, he also knows what is being heard before other courts.

"There are some testimonies which were heard before another court which are not part of the acts of this case but are relevant to the case," he points out.
Monique Agius
10:58 The court says that the it already began writing its decision. It would like therefore to know whether the plaintiff is still interested in the case.
Monique Agius
10:57 Mr Justice Mintoff informs the parties that as they were already informed the hearing was scheduled for 23 September. He says that the plaintiff has not submitted his reply.
Monique Agius
10:56 Dr Mercieca informs the courtroom that they are waiting for Dr Marion Camilleri.
Monique Agius
10:55 Lawyers Gianluca Caruana Curran and Charles Mercieca were already in the courtroom. Police Inspector Keith Arnaud is also here, as well as State Advocate Victoria Buttigieg.
Monique Agius
10:54 We're live from Hall 19. Murder suspect Yorgen Fenech just entered the courtroom.
Monique Agius
10:54 Good morning and welcome to this live blog.
Monique Agius