Daphne’s murder: Degiorgio brothers denied bail

Jesmond Vassallo

The two suspected hitmen in the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia have been denied bail by Madam Justice Edwina Grima.

Brothers Alfred and George Degiorgio and Vincent Muscat stand accused of planting and detonating the bomb in Caruana Galizia’s car on 17 October 2017.

In a decree, Madam Justice Edwina Grima denied bail to the Degiorgio brothers.

The defence counsel had argued that the accused were willing to submit themselves to electronic tagging.

In its decree, the court noted that the system of electronic tagging for those awaiting trial has not come into being. Adding that no legal framework existed for electronic tagging. Further, the accused would be required to wear a tag and put under surveillance, however, they have not been sentenced yet and are still facing criminal proceedings. Moreover, the court pointed out that it could not order the Prison Director to surveil the accused since it it the Court and the Police who are responsible for those under preventive arrest.

If the accused were to be electronically tagged, while they could be localised, there is no control over the accused on who they meet. This, the Court said, does not give one the peace of mind that there will be no tampering with evidence.

Madam Justice Edwina Grima highlighted that the magisterial inquiry is still open and others are being investigated in connection to the murder. Further, she pointed out the wider ramifications this case has with alleged third parties involved.

“It is evident that the accused were part of criminal web which has not been eradicated due to the fact of third parties who could have been involved in the commissioning of this crime,” the Court said.