The Malta Independent 28 September 2020, Monday

Magistrate orders police investigation into leaked Theuma recordings as Fenech compilation continues

Thursday, 13 August 2020, 14:53 Last update: about 3 months ago

A magistrate has ordered a police investigation into the leaked recordings pertaining to Melvin Theuma that were uploaded by an unknown individual online last weekend.

Magistrate Rachel Montebello ordered the police commissioner and the court registrar to investigate the matter and determine who may have leaked the recordings, which are understood to have been played behind closed doors.

ADVERTISEMENT

The ruling was given on Thursday as the compilation of evidence against murder suspect Yorgen Fenech continued.

Montebello warned that the uploading of the recordings was in contempt of court. She also ordered that university lecturer Simon Mercieca also be criminally investigated after he uploaded the voice recordings on his Facebook page.

The only testimony in today's sitting was that of captain Logan Wood, who was responsible for Yorgen Fenech's yacht, the Gio.

Wood revealed that on the night of 19 November he had been informed by the security at Portomaso that police officers were surrounding the yacht. He had also seen three cameramen from the media in the area.

Wood told the court that he had informed Fenech about the situation, who had told him “don't worry about it, they're making a whole scene like we're going to escape”.

Yorgen Fenech's yacht in the Portomaso marina on the day of his arrest.


Under cross-examination by defence lawyer Marion Camilleri, Wood clarified that Fenech had told him ‘we have nothing to hide’ when he was informed of the police presence around the yacht.

The yacht was stopped by the Armed Forces of Malta as it departed from the Portomaso marina in the early hours of 20 November.

Wood's testimony suggests Fenech may have known about his imminent arrest.

The captain said he was taking the yacht to Sicily for a scheduled maintenance visit and it was normal for him to ask one of the Tumas directors to accompany him and if not, a friend. He refuted suggestions the yacht was going to make an escape but added that although his plans were to return to Malta with the catamaran, he did not know what Fenech intended to do.

What happened in the previous sitting?

The prosecution and defence listened to new recordings behind closed doors to identify the clips that were to be used. Magistrate Rachel Montebello eventually ruled that one of the recordings could be played but she acceded to the prosecution's request for this to be heard behind closed doors.

The content of these new recordings is unknown but Inspector Keith Arnaud told the court that “there are three persons who would be in a very bad position if their names are published in the media without even having been investigated”.

Fenech is charged with masterminding the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Caruana Galizia, an investigative journalist, died in a car bomb explosion outside her home in Bidnija on 16 October 2017.

  • don't miss