The Malta Independent 28 May 2018, Monday

Judge authorises Caruana Galizia family to be part of court case filed by suspect

Tuesday, 24 April 2018, 11:30 Last update: about 2 months ago

A Constitutional Court has upheld a request by lawyers for the Caruana Galizia family to participate in the case filed by murder suspect Alfred Degiorgio in which he is demanding the removal of a court expert’s evidence from the case against him.

One month ago, lawyers for Degiorgio, who known as il-Fulu, had filed a Constitutional case in which they objected to the presence of Dr Martin Bajada in the investigation into the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

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Caruana Galizia was killed by a car bomb outside her home last October. Degiorgio is one of the three men charged with Caruana Galizia’s murder.

Bajada’s IT and mobile telephony-related expertise is understood to be crucial to the magisterial inquiry into the murder. While his appointment as court expert has been successfully attacked in the past on the strength of a 1993 conviction by a UK court, at which time Bajada had been working for Air Malta, regardless of the 25-year-old conviction, Bajada still enjoys the trust of members of the judiciary, who regularly appoint him to carry out tasks.

In the case he filed against the Attorney General, Degiorgio’s lawyer William Cuschieri had requested the First Hall of the Civil Court in its Constitutional jurisdiction to declare Bajada’s appointment and its subsequent confirmation as a breach of Degiorgio’s right to a fair hearing, which he said, would continue to be breached were Bajada to carry out any further work on the case or even testify. The lawyer had also demanded the expunging from the acts of the case of any work already completed by the expert.

On April 13, the Caruana Galizia family, through lawyer Jason Azzopardi, had asked the court to allow them to intervene in the case as parte civile, to protect what interest they may have in the case’s outcome.

Under Maltese law, intervenors are allowed to take an active part in proceedings and may perform all necessary acts, file pleadings and avail themselves of all legal means available to prove their arguments by producing the necessary evidence both in the form of documents and witnesses, but are neither plaintiffs, nor defendants.

In his decision on the matter, Judge Silvio Meli authorised the family to intervene in the case, which will continue in May.

 

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