Murder trial: “Grech was clinically dead, then revived”

The trial of the man accused of fatally stabbing Roderick Grech continued on Saturday. Etienne Bartolo, 39 years old from Birkirkara, known as il-Vojt, is currently facing a trial by jury over the alleged fatal stabbing of Grech.

Two emergency doctors testified, along with a court IT expert. The first emergency doctor, Dr Rebecca Galea, explained to the jurors that Grech presented with stab wounds to the neck, chest and right hand at the Mater Dei emergency department. He was pronounced clinically dead upon his arrival at 3am on March 29th, 2017. However, he was revived and then transferred to intensive care.

The stabbing took place on 29 March 2017 on Triq Tumas Fenech in Birkirkara when the two had met to settle a drug debt.

The second emergency doctor, Dr Thomas Armatis, testified that he had received a call about a man having been stabbed in the chest. He said that Grech had not been breathing when he presented to the emergency room. He then revived the patient, and relieved the pressure in the man’s chest, draining the blood from his lungs. He sent Grech for a CT scan, and then into intensive care.

Court IT expert Dr Martin Bajada, on his end, presented the evidence relating to the mobile phones exhibited in the acts of the case. He told jurors that he has been working in the IT sector for over 20 years.

Bajada had examined three phones: an LG, which was the accused’s, and a Samsung and a Nokia which were present at the scene. According to Bajada, the respective sim cards of each phone had been switched around in the different devices. This created a web of interactions between the respective devices, which proved difficult to untangle.

Bajada told the Court that one of the devices had a contact number saved as “China”, and others saved as “Cinis2” and “Raymond”. Alleged drug kingpin Jordan Azzopardi’s number was also found saved on the device.

The jury continues on Monday.