The Malta Independent 13 November 2019, Wednesday

Copy of FBI report on Daphne murder sent to US company in breach of law

Friday, 8 November 2019, 12:00 Last update: about 5 days ago

One of the lawyers representing two of the men accused of murdering journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia broke the law when he sent copies of an FBI report to a US company, a court has said.     

The statement was made as Friday’s hearing on preliminary pleas to the bill of indictment against the three men accused of the car bomb explosion that killed Daphne Caruana Galizia in Bidnija on October 16, 2017 began.

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Deputy Attorney General Philip Galea Farrugia informed Madame Justice Edwina Grima that lawyer William Cuschieri, who is appearing for George and Alfred Degiorgio, had sent the FBI report which is part of the records of the case to an American company “in blatant breach of the law.” The company is not part of the proceedings, nor was it appointed by the court to carry out the work.

Galea Farrugia argued that he had not even passed the records on to the murdered journalist’s family. 

Moreover, the companies charge five figure sums for their services he said, raising the question as to how the “unemployed” Degiorgio brothers could pay for this, particularly when their assets had been frozen.  The prosecution also requested that the report by the American company, be expunged from the records of the case.

The Court said that it was up to the prosecution to report the issue to the police, but declared that from now on nothing was to be given to anyone extraneous to the case.

The Court declared that it would decide upon the request for the removal of the report from the acts of the case at a later stage. 

Marc Sant was reappointed as legal aid lawyer for the third accused, Vince Muscat, as he had not found a lawyer to represent him after his previous counsel renounced his patronage.

The court is now hearing submissions on the preliminary pleas.

 

 

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