The Malta Independent 22 July 2019, Monday

Court rules Alfred Degiorgio’s right to fair hearing not breached

Thursday, 6 June 2019, 12:39 Last update: about 3 months ago

Alfred Degiorgio’s right to a fair hearing was not breached by the Court of Magistrates’ decision to allow FBI experts to testify in the Caruana Galizia murder compilation.

This was established in a Constitutional judgment handed down on Thursday by Mr. Justice Mark Chetcuti presiding the First Hall, Civil Court in its constitutional jurisdiction.

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Degiorgio, his brother George and Vincent Muscat, are due to be indicted for the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

His lawyer, William Cuschieri, had objected to a decision by the Court of Magistrates during the compilation of evidence regarding the murder, in which the court had allowed FBI experts to testify and present evidence last year.

Two requests for interim measures filed by the lawyer had already been rejected by the constitutional courts.

The Court pointed out that the testimony of the FBI witnesses and any of the documents they exhibited as evidence, could still be expunged from the records of the case if so ordered by the Constitutional Court.

The compilation of evidence against the men was still ongoing, said the court, highlighting the fact that proceedings had not even reached the jury stage. Therefore Degiorgio could still avail himself of several other remedies before the Criminal Courts, said the judge.

The very fact that he had filed this constitutional case showed that the applicant had an effective remedy as long as his claim was upheld, the Court concluded, rejecting the applicant’s allegation of a breach of rights. “Did this amount to a breach of the applicant’s right to a fair hearing?” the Court asked. “This Court deems that the answer to this question is in the negative.”

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