The Malta Independent 1 March 2021, Monday

Melvin Theuma cleared to continue testifying in case against 3 accused of murdering Daphne

Thursday, 21 January 2021, 14:20 Last update: about 2 months ago

The compilation of evidence against the three men accused of planting and triggering the bomb which killed journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia continues on Thursday.

George Degiorgio 55, known as Ic-Ciniz, Alfred Degiorgio, 53, known as il-Fulu and Vincent Muscat, 55, known as il-Kohhu are charged with murder and a number of charges relating to explosives.

Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit is presiding.

Lawyer Marc Sant is appearing for Vince Muscat. Lawyer William Cuschieri is appearing for the Degiorgio brothers.

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14:36 The sitting is over. That's it for today. Thank you for following.  

14:36 George Degiorgio is heard saying: “Issa naraw ta’ min tgħaddi (now we will see who prevails)”. 

14:32 The Degiorgios are then removed from the courtroom by prison staff still shouting.

14:32 Degiorgio does not relent. “You broke the Constitution, now we shall see, Sur Avukat.”

14:31 As the magistrate walks out of the courtroom, accused George Degiorgio and later his brother Alfred launch into a tirade of abuse against the magistrate and the Attorney General. “Kollha nkallati... ksirtu d-drittijiet fundamentali tagħna. Basta tmur fuq il-qabar ta’ Kristu int,” George Degiorgio shouts with reference to parte civile lawyer Jason Azzopardi.

14:29 The magistrate reads out a decree. She refers to the Court of Appeal judgment by Judge Edwina Grima which said that the recordings are to be exhibited in this case. The court notes that the majority of the request concerned evidence heard in private without access. The court cannot uphold the request of the defence to hear the recordings.

14:24 The parties are trying to thrash out a date for the next sitting. This is made more complex by the fact that the prosecuting police officers are currently unavailable. Another sitting is finally scheduled for Monday 25 January at 2pm.

14:22 Defence lawyer William Cuschieri asks a question and the court follows up with a question of its own. The replies cannot be reported. The three psychiatrists are dismissed.

14:17 The witnesses are being asked other questions by parte civile lawyer Jason Azzopardi about their report on Theuma, however replies cannot be reported on court order. 

14:10 Defence lawyer Marc Sant asks whether Theuma's mental health problems had started with the murder or before it. Deputy Attorney General Philip Galea Farrugia objects, saying that the psychiatrists had been appointed for a specific purpose. 

14:07 The psychiatrists say Melvin Theuma is capable of testifying and continuing the testimony he had started to deliver to the court. 

14:06 The three psychiatrists had been appointed to examine Theuma's capacity to give evidence after his suicide attempt last summer. 

14:05 The conclusions of the report are read out in court. 

14:04 The magistrate expressly says that she sees nothing wrong with allowing the publication of the psychiatrists’ conclusion as to whether Melvin Theuma can testify but the rest of their testimony is not for publication. 

14:03 The psychiatrists were appointed by the court to evaluate Theuma’s mental health and determine whether he is fit to continue testifying.  

14:02 The three psychiatrists who examined pardoned murder middleman Melvin Theuma are summoned to the stand. 

14:02 Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit emerges from chambers. Inspector Shawn Pawney is appearing for the prosecution since Superintendent Keith Arnaud and Inspector Kurt Zahra are indisposed. 

14:00 Good afternoon.

 

 

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