The Malta Independent 13 November 2019, Wednesday

Man charged with Daphne murder files application to suspend hearing

Tuesday, 15 October 2019, 13:30 Last update: about 28 days ago

One of the three men accused of the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia has filed an urgent application to suspend a hearing before the Criminal Court scheduled for October 31, in view of a case he recently filed, challenging the legality of wiretaps used as evidence.

William Cuschieri, George Degiorgio’s lawyer, filed the application less than a week after filing a challenge to the legality of telephone intercepts which are central to the prosecution’s case.

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During the compilation of evidence against Degiorgio, his brother and Vincent Muscat, the police had testified to how they had used telephone intercepts to monitor conversations, triggering signals and even the movement of the bomb itself. But none of the recordings of the conversations or their transcripts have been exhibited in evidence, and neither had the Head of the Security Services been summoned to testify about them.

It was for that reason that last week Cuschieri had claimed that the Security Services Act breached his client’s rights, asking the court to strike off all of the illegally obtained evidence.

It was evident that the outcome of the phone tapping case could have a bearing upon the criminal proceedings, argued Cuschieri.

On October 31 the Criminal Court, presided over by Madam Justice Edwina Grima, is to consider a number of preliminary pleas, prior to the trial.

Degiorgio asked the First Hall, of the Civil Court in its Constitutional jurisdiction to grant an interim measure, by ordering that proceedings before the Criminal Court be immediately suspended until the phone-tapping case was definitively concluded.

 

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