The Malta Independent 8 December 2022, Thursday
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Yorgen Fenech demands police investigate Jason Azzopardi and Manuel Delia for ‘attack on judge’

Wednesday, 25 August 2021, 08:12 Last update: about 2 years ago

Yorgen Fenech wants the police to investigate Jason Azzopardi and blogger Manuel Delia over what he called “a systematic attack” against a judge who decided on his request for bail.

Fenech is indicted for complicity in the 2017 murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia and the prosecution is asking for a life sentence.

In a judicial protest filed before the First Hall of the Civil Court, Fenech’s lawyers explained that on 16 August, they had filed an application for bail which was then granted a hearing on 18 August. On that day, the court, presided by Mr Justice Giovanni Grixti, had put the case off for a decision in chambers.

“The day after… whilst Mr Justice Grixti had been deliberating on the bail decree, the parte civile lawyer Jason Azzopardi, together with blogger Manuel Delia began a systematic attack against Mr Justice Grixti, where they insulted him in what the applicant sees as a concentrated effort to influence the bail decision.”

Grixti eventually denied Fenech bail.

Delia on his blog and Azzopardi on his Facebook profile had broken the story that the judge had bought a 50ft motor yacht, named Spensierata, from Fenech’s father, George, in 2008 when he was already a magistrate

Fenech’s lawyers alleged that Azzopardi had insinuated that the judge was prejudiced, partial and dishonest, pointing out that he had also written to the Chief Justice asking that he intervene.

“All this because in 2008, 13 years ago, the judge bought a boat from the applicant’s father, Mr George Fenech,” the lawyers said.

Fenech has been held in preventive custody for the past two years. His bail request had been filed days after the Attorney General had issued the Bill of Indictment against Fenech, effectively resetting the clock on automatic bail just before it ran out.

His lawyers argued that the actions of Azzopardi and Delia constituted a crime against the administration of justice which is prosecutable ex officio – not requiring the complaint of the injured party.

The police had already been made aware of this, said the lawyers, explaining that they had not been made aware of whether the police had started investigating the publications.

“The applicant wants that this investigation, if it has not already begun, be started immediately,” demanded the judicial protest.

Similar publications were a regular occurrence which were creating prejudice against the applicant and were “breaching his fundamental right to a fair trial by undermining the trust in the judicial process, in particular the independence and impartiality of the judiciary.”

Lawyers Gianluca Caruana Curran, Marion Camilleri and Charles Mercieca signed the judicial protest.

 

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