The Malta Independent 20 October 2020, Tuesday

Former AG lawyer joins Yorgen Fenech’s legal team; Caruana Galizia family calls for inquiry

Wednesday, 6 May 2020, 19:06 Last update: about 7 months ago

A lawyer who was, until recently, employed at the office of the Attorney General has joined Yorgen Fenech's legal team.

Charles Mercieca (below) appeared on Fenech's legal team "barely 24 hours" after resigning from the AG's office, according to reports.

He has joined lawyers Gianluca Caruana Curran and Marion Camilleri ion constitutional proceedings filed by Fenech against the Superintendent of Public Health and the State Advocate.


The lawyers have argued that the closure of the courts have breached their client's human rights. The courts were closed on 16 March in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 17 Black owner stands charged with being a mastermind in the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Sources told MaltaToday that Charles Mercieca, who is the son of former PL MP Franco Mercieca, is paying his leave.

According to Times of Malta, Mercieca did not work on the Caruana Galizia prosecution during his time at the AG's office.

Mercieca told the newspaper: "During my time with the Attorney General's Office I was never involved either directly or indirectly in Yorgen Fenech's case or any other cases which have anything to do with the circumstances surrounding the case."


PN demands 'immediate explanation'

Reacting, the Nationalist Party called on Justice Minister Edward Zammit Lewis to give an "immediate explanation."

The PN's justice shadow minister, Jason Azzopardi, said the minister has a legal and moral obligation to explain how a lawyer joined Fenech's legal team hours after resigning from the AG's office.

"In less than 19 hours, he resigned from the AG's office, paid his notice period and appeared in court for the person accused in the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia," Azzopardi said.  

The minister should explain when contacts between the lawyer and his new client started, and explain how this was allowed to happen, the MP continued.

The Opposition said it expects the minister to give a clear answer on the steps he will be taking.

The Minister should also explain what measures have been taken to ensure that the access the lawyer had to evidence, documents and sworn testimonies in the murder case do not cause irreparable harm to justice in the case. 


Caruana Galizia family demands investigation

Meanwhile, the Caruana Galizia family has called on the AG's office to launch an internal inquiry to establish whether Mercieca had access to sensitive information from the case.

Matthew Caruana Galizia told Times of Malta that, even though Mercieca said he did not work on the murder case, there is "absolutely no guarantee" that he did not access any of the documents related to the prosecution's case. 


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