Three men accused of executing Caruana Galizia murder want all Theuma recordings exhibited

Caruana Galizia murder: Lawyers for George Degiorgio, Alfred Degiorgio and Vince Muscat want all recordings made by Melvin Theuma to be exhibited in court as prosecution says only around 10 are of relevance to their case

Sketch of the accused in the dock | Artist: Perit Eric Gerardi
Sketch of the accused in the dock | Artist: Perit Eric Gerardi

Murder suspects George and Alfred Degiorgio, and Vince Muscat were back in court on Wednesday to ask for all recordings made by pardoned middleman Melvin Theuma to be exhibited.

The three men stand accused of planting and detonating the bomb that killed Caruana Galizia on 16 October 2017 after being commissioned to do the crime by Theuma. All three deny the accusations.

Businessperson Yorgen Fenech is charged in separate proceedings of masterminding the murder.

Lawyers for the Degiorgios and Muscat want all the recordings to be exhibited in their clients' case but the prosecution is objecting, insisting that only 10 were of relevance to the case against the three men.

The court is expected to rule on the matter in the next sitting on 21 January.

In today's sitting, Theuma had to continue testifying but the court will first hear from the psychiatrists overseeing the man. Theuma attempted suicide last year and has so far not continued testifying pending clearance from his psychiatrists.

10:27 That's it for today. Thank you for following. Kurt Sansone
10:26 In the next sitting, Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit is expected to hear the psychiatrists who have been overseeing Melvin Theuma. Kurt Sansone
10:22 The court says it will decree on the issue later. The sitting continues on 21 January at 2pm. Kurt Sansone
10:16 Arnaud explains that the police collect a lot of material but this is sifted, not to hide evidence in favour of the accused, but because there are things unrelated to the case. Kurt Sansone
10:15 Cuschieri: “There might be evidence in favour.” Kurt Sansone
10:15 The court will decree on the matter next time in open court, the magistrate says. The court asks the prosecution whether it is objecting. Arnaud says there is no evidence against the accused in the rest of the recordings. Kurt Sansone
10:14 Cuschieri: “It certainly is not up to the prosecution to say what is relevant to the defence of the accused.” Kurt Sansone
10:14 Lawyers William Cuschieri and Marc Sant explain that they are insisting on the exhibition of all the recordings by Theuma as all of them are “pertinent to this case”. They add that the defence could not accept a declaration as had been made by the prosecution as to what is relevant and if anything, the declaration should be made after the recordings have been exhibited. The lawyers argue on equality of arms, saying that the prosecution had all the opportunity to listen and analyse the recordings but the defence had no such opportunity. Kurt Sansone
10:13 Supt Arnaud submits that there are no further pertinent recordings to the case. Kurt Sansone
10:12 The court asks if there are other recordings, which are pertinent to the accused in this case. Arnaud says there aren't. Cuschieri insists that the defence must hear all the recordings and also decide what is pertinent to the case. “I can't just take the Superintendent's word for it,” the lawyer insists. The court says it will hear oral submissions on this topic and take a decision. Kurt Sansone
10:01 Lawyer William Cuschieri tells the court that his clients are insisting on all the recordings being exhibited. They were following the proceedings closely through the media and had noticed certain things being mentioned in other cases. Kurt Sansone
09:58 The court is being presented with transcripts of recordings of Melvin Theuma and Yorgen Fenech talking. Key to Theuma’s testimony are a series of recordings he had made of conversations he had with Fenech and others after Caruana Galizia’s murder. Kurt Sansone
09:56 Today’s court session comes 48 hours after reports suggest that Cabinet refused to grant a presidential pardon to Vince Muscat, one of the three men charged with executing the murder. Muscat had requested a pardon, claiming that it had been him who led police to Theuma in the first place. Kurt Sansone
09:54 The court has just nominated three psychiatrists to testify on the psychiatric condition of Melvin Theuma on 21 January. Kurt Sansone
09:53 QUICK REMINDER: Melvin Theuma attempted suicide last year and has not testified in court proceedings for a number of months pending an evaluation of mental state by psychiatrists. Kurt Sansone
09:52 The court says that it doesn’t require a written report but simply a go-ahead from the doctors. Kurt Sansone
09:51 Superintendent Keith Arnaud takes the stand and presents a true copy of the pardon issued to Theuma in November 2019. Defence lawyer William Cuschieri and the court ask after Theuma. Arnaud says that the prosecution is informed that the psychiatrists had examined the witness and could provide their feedback if summoned as witnesses or court-appointed experts. Kurt Sansone
09:50 Today's sitting is for the court-appointed psychiatrist to inform the court of Melvin Theuma's mental state. Theuma was given a presidential pardon to tell all in 2019. Kurt Sansone
09:49 Good morning. Kurt Sansone

 

 

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