The Malta Independent 19 May 2022, Thursday

Horse racing club officials testify in Yorgen Fenech money laundering case

Monday, 17 January 2022, 14:05 Last update: about 5 months ago

Yorgen Fenech's money laundering case continued before Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech on Monday, hearing testimony about the international transport of racing horses.

Malta Racing Club representative Mark Consiglio, who had also testified in the previous sitting, exhibited documents about a horse, the Prince Di Poggio, belonging to Fenech.

In 2019 Fenech was not a member of the Malta Racing Club, and a transfer of the horse was made from Yorgen Fenech to his uncle Ray Fenech, Consiglio said. The horse took part in one race in 2019, he explained. Then in 2019-2020, Ray Fenech transferred the horse to a third party, said the witness.

The third-party was not identified during today's sitting.

Consiglio added that in 2019, Yorgen Fenech had not paid his yearly membership.

The chairman of the Malta Racing Club, retired Judge Antonio Mizzi, was also summoned to the stand this morning. Prosecutor Cinzia Azzopardi Alamango from the office of the Attorney General asked the witness about the legal arrangements needed for horses to travel.

Mizzi told the court that Consiglio was "more of an expert" than him but said a passport is needed, and the Animal Welfare Department is also involved in the process. "If the horse is going to race, it must be registered with the racing club. We check that its vaccinations and health are in order, and that's it."

An export certificate must be issued if the horse is to be exported, he said. Asked by the prosecution as to what information is required from the applicant in order to take the horse abroad, Mizzi explained that the club must receive notification that a transfer is to take place before an export certificate is issued. The identity of the buyer must be known to the club, Mizzi added.

A court-appointed administrator testified that he had been asked by the police to appear in court to ask for more time to complete his task. The court upheld the request, soliciting the experts to complete the tasks given to them by the next sitting.

"By next sitting, I want to see things finished."

The court said it would hand down decrees on two applications, one of them about the freezing order, from chambers. The case continues in March.

Inspector Brian Camilleri is prosecuting, assisted by prosecutors Marthese Grech and Cinzia Azzopardi Alamango from the office of the Attorney General.

Lawyers Charles Mercieca and Gianluca Caruana Curran appeared for Fenech.

Fenech is facing separate criminal proceedings for his involvement in the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.


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