Inspector Zahra says data shows communication between political figures & businessmen

Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The public inquiry into the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia continued this afternoon. Police Inspector Kurt Zahra and Foreign Affairs Official, Fiona Formosa, gave their testimony.

The board of inquiry is chaired by Judge Emeritus Michael Mallia and composed of Chief Justice Emeritus Joseph Said Pullicino and Madame Justice Abigail Lofaro.

16:03 Thank you for following.
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16:02 That is it for today. Next court sitting is on Friday at 9:30 am.
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16:02 Fiona Formosa's testimony ends here.
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16:00 Caruana Galizia was replaced by another diplomat in October 2017.
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15:59 A set of emails have been presented in court and the witness confirms they are a thread of e-mails concerning Andrew Caruana Galizia's.
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15:57 "Do you remember if High Commissioner Steven Borg complained about Caruana Galizia's termination?" – asked Dr Jason Azzopardi.

Yes, replies Formosa.
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15:55 Asked by Lawyer Therese Comodini Cachia if she had a direct order from the then Minister Carmelo Abela, she confirms and adds that she does not recall if the reason behind it was mentioned or discussed.
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15:54 She also says that it is also common that changes or transfers take place, during the 3-year posting of a diplomat.
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15:53 She also confirms that usually, a posting has a duration of 3 years.
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15:51 She confirms that the decision was taken a month after the 2017 general election.

Andrew Caruana Galizia is still under unpaid leave but is still employed within the Foreign Affairs Ministry, said Formosa.
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15:50 The request was made within a few days. The witness says that she is not aware why but was instructed to do so as some changes were needed.
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15:49 Formosa said that the Ministry had an order to terminate Andrew Caruana Galizia's post with immediate effect. At the time Formosa was a permanent secretary.
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15:48 The board asks the witness about Andrew Caruana Galizia who was a diplomat in India.
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15:47 Formosa works within the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
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15:46 We are back in session and Ms Fiona Formosa is next to take the witness stand.
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15:46 Inspector Zahra is seen leaving the courtroom.
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15:30 Inspector Kurt Zahra is still giving his testimony behind closed doors.
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15:03 The press was asked to leave the courtroom.
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14:59 He is expected to mention the names of public figures mentioned in the extracted data by Europol.
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14:58 Inspector Zahra will continue testifying behind closed doors.
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14:55 Judge Emeritus Michael Mallia asks Inspector Zahra if from the extracted data there are links between those accused of Daphne's murder, those in connection with this murder and politically exposed individuals.

The board only wants a yes or a no as a reply.

Inspector Zahra said yes.
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14:53 Madame Justice Lofaro said that the board will need this data before this inquiry is concluded.
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14:52 Inspector Zahra said that there is a series of data which still needs to be investigated.
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14:51 The board wants to ask a series of questions.
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14:49 Inspector Zahra said that this data is expected to be presented during the compilation of evidence against Yorgen Fenech who is being accused of complicity in Daphne's murder.
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14:47 Europol has the whole extraction of the data. When the data was handed to the Task Force, the data was then disseminated within the Task Force itself, depending on who was investigating what, explained Inspector Zahra.
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14:46 Members of Europol also form part of the Task Force.
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14:45 Zahra says that the Task Force is made up of 8 Police Officials.
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14:44 Madame Justice asks the witness if the Attorney General has a copy of this data.

Inspector Zahra says no but he is not sure.
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14:44 He explains that this data is at The Hauge and at the Malta Task Force.
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14:41 Inspector Zahra said that extraction of data from the devices seized by the Police took place at The Hague.
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14:38 Lawyer Therese Comodini Cachia asks Inspector Zahra if the investigations are still ongoing. He confirms and mentions that the task force has been working on the case from the very first day, that is when the journalist was killed.

The Police are collaborating with Europol.
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14:37 The inquiry board notes that this is the second time he is giving his testimony.
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14:36 Police Inspector Kurt Zahra takes the witness stand.
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14:35 We are live from courtroom number 20.
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14:28 Welcome to Newsbook.com.mt live blog.
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14:28 Good afternoon.
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