The Malta Independent 28 January 2023, Saturday
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Alleged Daphne bomb supplier seeks judge’s recusal

Friday, 9 December 2022, 15:50 Last update: about 3 months ago

One of the men who allegedly supplied the bomb which killed journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia is seeking the recusal of the judge hearing his and his co-defendants’ case.

Jamie Vella – together with brothers Adrian and Robert Agius, known as Tal-Maksar, and George Degiorgio, stands accused of being involved in the Caruana Galizia case and in the murder of lawyer Carmel Chircop.

Degiorgo, along with his brother Alfred, has already admitted to planting and setting off the bomb which killed Caruana Galizia in October 2017 and is currently serving a 40-year prison sentence.

Vella’s lawyer Ishmael Psaila filed a formal request on Friday for Judge Edwina Grima to recuse herself from hearing his client’s case on the basis that she has heard and is currently hearing separated cases related to the Caruana Galizia murder.

Grima is currently hearing the case against the alleged mastermind behind the murder Yorgen Fenech, and was also overseeing the case against the Degiorgios as it went to a trial by jury which was ultimately cut short by a surprise guilty plea on the first day.

Psaila argued that Judge Grima should recuse herself in the interest of justice and to ensure a fair hearing for his client.

Separately, George Degiorgio’s lawyer Noel Bianco said that he had not had the opportunity to file pre-trial pleas on the case as the accused’s previous legal representation had failed to do so.

He said that he had tried to contact Degiorgio’s legal aid lawyer Cynthia Tomasuolo to discuss the trial but to no avail.

The case was deferred to Wednesday next week, when Judge Grima said she would decide on the request for recusal, and when she ordered that Tomasuolo be present to explain why pre-trial exemptions had not been filed.

Adrian and Robert Agius were represented by Alfred Abela, while Leslie Cuschieri also represented Degiorgio.

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