Yorgen Fenech asks court not to make his phone data public 'to protect third parties'

Prosecuting superintendent Keith Arnaud had previously told the court that officials from Europol would be presenting the mobile phone data in the acts of the compilation of evidence in the coming days

Yorgen Fenech outside the court last December
Yorgen Fenech outside the court last December

Lawyers for Yorgen Fenech, the businessman accused of playing a lead role in the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, have filed a court application, asking that his mobile phone data is not made public "in order to protect the privacy of third parties."

In an application filed on October 12, lawyers Gianluca Caruana Curran, Marion Camilleri and Charles Mercieca asked magistrate Rachel Montebello to order the setting up of a data room, accessible only to the case's parties -  the State, the defence and the prosecution.

This after prosecuting superintendent Keith Arnaud specified that officials from Europol were due to present the mobile phone data in the acts of the compilation of evidence in the coming days.              

This data contained information appertaining to third parties “who are private citizens and have nothing to do with the charges.”

There have already been several leaks of information from Fenech’s mobile phone in the past, said the lawyers, and this had been “detrimental to the private life of several people.”

It would not be in the interests of justice and the protection of fundamental rights to have this information “somehow revealed to the local press,” they said.

The application comes after local newspaper Times of Malta had published an article stating that justice minister Edward Zammit Lewis had exchanged “hundreds of messages” in 2019. The article went on to state that this was expected to be revealed upon the presentation of the mobile data cache from Fenech’s phone.

When a similar issue cropped up in September with regard to the electronic devices and mobile phones belonging to Melvin Theuma and his family members, the court had upheld the request to set up a data room, Fenech’s defence pointed out.

In its decree on the matter, the court ordered the notification of the Attorney General, the Commissioner of Police. The parte civile were given 3 days to file their reply.

More in Court & Police