The Malta Independent 19 June 2021, Saturday

Darren Debono case: 12 terabytes of data exhibited in court as magistrate laments lack of staff

Tuesday, 18 May 2021, 12:09 Last update: about 1 month ago

An IT expert has exhibited some 12 terabytes of data from several devices seized by the police in the case against Darren Debono and Jeffrey Chetcuti.

Debono and Chetcuti stand charged with money laundering.

Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech heard how the expert recovered the date from laptops, iPads, 22 mobile phones, hard drives, servers and several memory cards.


The data was presented on a hard drive. The defence requested a copy of the data.

The magistrate said that the court had requested urgent digitalisation of acts as the case files copies are required by the defence and there was no time for her staff to do them. The workload on the court employees was too great, she said. “Every document has to be stamped and numbered and signed. This is a waste of time,” observed the visibly annoyed magistrate.

“As soon as the administration gives us the staff, I can work,” she added.

Earlier, two architects, Daniel Micallef and Claude Mallia testified to their relationship with Scoglitti.

Jeffrey Chetcuti. Main photo: Darren Debono

Micallef said he had been commissioned to carry out architectural works at the restaurant by Debono in  April 2014.

He had filed an application for a Development Notification Order in Debono’s name. Another application was filed to make a tent on the premises into a permanent structure, add solar panels and other small jobs, but the Planning Board had recommended a refusal.

The application for Scoglitti was then withdrawn. In this case the application was made by Debono as an individual.

On 8 March 2018, an enforcement notice was issued to Florinda Sultana and an application for sanctioning was filed.

The name of the applicant was changed to a Marvin McKay at a later stage, but the permit was refused. The decision was confirmed on appeal.

The other architect, Claude Mallia, testified about the Sottomare restaurant application for internal alterations. He recognised Debono as the client.

Inspectors Joseph Xerri and James Turner prosecuted. They were assisted by lawyer Antoine Agius Bonnici from the Attorney General’s office. 

Lawyers Giannella De Marco, Stephen Tonna Lowell, Jean-Paul Sammut, Gianluca Caruana Curran and Charles Mercieca appeared for Debono and Chetcuti. 

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