The Malta Independent 29 February 2020, Saturday

George Degiorgio asks whether MSS had warrant to tap phone

Tuesday, 21 January 2020, 09:57 Last update: about 2 months ago

One of the men accused of carrying out the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia has asked a court to order the head of the Security Services, Joseph Bugeja, to explain whether a warrant had been issued against him before his phone was tapped, after the latter refused to answer a question in court.

George Degiorgio, who stands accused of the murder together with his brother Alfred  and Vince Muscat, filed an application before the First Hall of the Civil Court in its Constitutional jurisdiction, explaining that in the last sitting, inspector Keith Arnaud had testified that he did not know whether or not the phone tap evidence against the accused had been obtained through a warrant.

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Later in that sitting, reads the application, Bugeja had told the court that the warrant in question had been issued in February 2017 in connection with “some other crime that is certainly not the homicide,” which was carried out months later. Bugeja had refused to exhibit this warrant.

Lawyer William Cuschieri, for Degiorgio, had asked the witness whether a warrant against the man had ever been issued with regards to the Caruana Galizia murder. Bugeja had refused to answer that question.

This led to the filing of the Constitutional application by Cuschieri, who argued that the question was pertinent and relevant to the case at hand and that an answer was required at law.

There is nothing in the law which prohibits a witness from answering the question, reads the application.

Cuschieri asked the court, presided by Mr. Justice Toni Abela, to “order the Head of the Security Services to answer the question made to him…under the provisions which this Honourable Court sees to be fitting and opportune.”

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