No sensitive documents were saved to Daphne Caruana Galizia's devices, her son testifies

Matthew Caruana Galizia said that he used his technical expertise to help his mother in handling the large volume of data received when investigating Electrogas

Daphne Caruana Galizia's sons, (from left to right) Matthew, Andrew and Paul, accompanied by lawyer Therese Comodini Cachia, entering court on Monday for the compilation of evidence against Yorgen Fenech, the man accused of masterminding their mother's murder (Photo: James Bianchi/MaltaToday)
Daphne Caruana Galizia's sons, (from left to right) Matthew, Andrew and Paul, accompanied by lawyer Therese Comodini Cachia, entering court on Monday for the compilation of evidence against Yorgen Fenech, the man accused of masterminding their mother's murder (Photo: James Bianchi/MaltaToday)

Matthew Caruana Galizia has told a court that his mother would have never saved sensitive documents on her laptop.

Caruana Galizia testified for two hours this afternoon in the compilation of evidence against Yorgen Fenech, who is accused of commissioning the journalist’s murder.

Cross-examined by lawyer Charles Mercieca from Fenech’s defence team, Caruana Galizia said that the data relating to the murdered journalist’s investigations into 17 Black was stored on an encrypted hard drive instead.

Matthew Caruana Galizia, who was part of the ICIJ team which won a Pulitzer prize for their work on the Panama Papers said that he had used his technical expertise to help his mother in handling the large volume of data which was leaked from the Electrogas consortium.

"I didn't save emails on my mother’s laptop or iPad or anything" Caruana Galizia said, pointing out that this would have been a security risk.

“Where were they stored before?”, asked Mercieca, suggesting that they would have had to have been stored on the laptop before being transferred to the external hard disk that he carried around with him at the time.

But Caruana Galizia rejected the suggestion. "Of course I didn't use my mother's computer to do that...why? Because it’s my mother's computer. I find it strange that I would be using my mother's computer while my mother needed it to work on it" replied Caruana Galizia.

He told Magistrate Rachel Montebello that the leak consisted of “over 100,000 documents” mostly in electronic form.

The cross-examination was never going to be a pleasant one, but today tensions reached boiling point when Caruana Galizia disclosed that Fenech had been convicted of drug charges in the USA and had been “behaving erratically before and after the murder.”

Mercieca objected to the mentioning of this fact, but was contradicted by parte civile lawyer Jason Azzopardi, who said “you cannot censor the truth.”

“You censor the truth!” Mercieca roared back, accusing the other side of being selective with the evidence produced. The defence objected at several junctures during the witness’ testimony, at a point describing his testimony as “media fodder.”

Caruana Galizia continued: "We had discovered that Fenech was convicted of drug possession and was going through a personal crisis at the time. We knew Yorgen Fenech was behaving erratically before and after the murder and secondly my mother would have considered it to be of humongous public interest that one of the main shareholders [in Electrogas] had been convicted of an offence in the USA."

“There was worry at the banks about the loan facility given to Electrogas, and in this email you have the Yorgen Fenech side of things. ‘Our concern is Due Diligence,’" he quoted.

Fenech was a key person in the journalists’ investigation, he said . “We considered him to be a member of this clique that my mother was writing about.”

“Because we saw that Fenech was hugely influential, the volume of emails being exchanged, what was being asked of him by shareholders and Electrogas employees, this led to my mother focusing more on him.”

“As a reporter this draws attention to you but it is the risk you have to take as a journalist,” he said.

Magistrate Rachel Montebello is presiding over the case. Superintendent Keith Arnaud and Inspector Kurt Zahra are prosecuting, aided by Deputy Attorney General Philip Galea Farrugia.

Fenech’s defence lawyers are Marion Camilleri, Charles Mercieca and Gianluca Caruana Curran. Lawyers Jason Azzopardi and Therese Comodini Cachia are appearing parte civile for the Caruana Galizia family.

14:58 Thanks for following today's case with us. Our court reporter, Matthew Agius, will be providing a write-up of the hearing soon. Nicole Meilak
14:57 The next sitting will take place on August 2 at 10am. Matthew Caruana Galizia will be cross-examined on August 12. Nicole Meilak
14:56 Mercieca says the defence had presented an application. The Attorney General has four days to reply, says Galea Farrugia. The court is dealing with administrative aspects of the case, in particular transcriptions of witness testimony. The court is now thrashing out the dates for the next sittings with the lawyers. Nicole Meilak
14:46 Caruana Galizia has finished testifying. He steps off the stand, and sits down next to lawyer Therese Comodini Cachia. Nicole Meilak
14:45 Caruana Galizia confirms that no emails where saved to his mother’s laptop or iPad. Mercieca asks where they were stored before, but Caruana Galizia continues.
“I didn’t use my mother’s computer to do that because it’s my mother’s computer. I find it strange to use my mother’s computer while my mother needed it for work,” he replied.
Nicole Meilak
14:41 “My mother had communication with the source and didn't have the knowledge to handle such large amounts of data. She never showed me a document like that on her laptop, never ever ever. It is simply not the way we conducted that investigation.”
He adds that the external hard drive was encrypted.
Nicole Meilak
14:40 “Would I be correct to say that your mother had access to this information on her laptop?” asks Mercieca. “No no, I had an external hard drive and I carried it around with me most of the time because we knew it was so sensitive. […] I never emailed these documents to my mother and even if I did she wouldn't have saved it on her laptop.” Nicole Meilak
14:39 “They were stored on an external hard drive that I went out and bought, the majority were stored there […] The only other documents that my mother had showed me were on a phone that she had at the time. I am not sure if it is the same phone she was using at the time of her murder.” Nicole Meilak
14:38 "Were these received in electronic format?" Merceica continues. "They were received in electronic format but I do not wish to talk about it… I don't really want to describe the mechanism the source was communicating with my mother through." Nicole Meilak
14:36 "You mentioned these 100,000 documents. Did you receive them in electronic form?" Mercieca asks.
"There were some documents which my mother might have printed out, but I don't remember. I don't really want to talk about..."
“You talk about what we ask you.”
Nicole Meilak
14:34 Jason Azzopardi asks about the contents of the leak his mother had received about Electrogas. “How large, how many docs?”
"It must have been over a hundred thousand documents in total," Caruana Galizia replied.
Mercieca says he will ask a question and then reserve cross-examination for the next sitting.
Nicole Meilak
14:33 The witness moves on, saying that there was evidence on Fenech's phone showing the relationship between Fenech and Mizzi "Uwejja!" shouts Fenech (Come on). Mercieca objects to the whole testimony of Caruana Galizia. "Why doesn't he present the laptop and not selective extracts of it?”
The court tells the witness not to draw conclusions.
Nicole Meilak
14:32 "We had discovered that Fenech was convicted of drug possession and was going through a personal crisis at the time. We knew Fenech was behaving erratically before and after the murder, and my mother would have considered it to be of humongous public interest that one of the main shareholders had been convicted of an offence in the USA."
Mercieca objects again, saying that if they wanted to testify about the character of the accused, the defence reserved the right to do the same.
Nicole Meilak
14:31 After the murder, we discovered that Fenech had been convicted of drug possession in the US. Mercieca interrupts and objects. Azzopardi says it is the truth.
"You cannot censor the truth" Azzopardi said.
"You censor the truth!" shouts Mercieca.
Nicole Meilak
14:29 He exhibits a company resolution of 17 Black, where it changes its address, days after Daphne Caruana Galizia revealed the owner of 17 Black to be Yorgen Fenech. He also exhibits a copy of a Rueters report on the investigation into 17 Black and his mother's murder
"We were doing our best to continue the work that my mother had started. Earlier in 2018 we had said that we need to find out who the owner of 17 Black is and throw a huge amount of effort behind that. This is the result of that effort, that article."
Nicole Meilak
14:26 There was worry at the banks about the loan facility given to Electrogas, and in this email you have Fenech’s side of things. "Our concern is Due Diligence," Caruana Galizia said.
"We felt like things were coming together. These disparate threads were dovetailing […] This was a long running project, planned in 2013 and kept going,” he says.
Nicole Meilak
14:24 "We were like a train on tracks heading towards the station and someone would have to blow it off the tracks to stop it," Caruana Galizia says. Mercieca objects, saying that this was an opinion given only for media fodder. Nicole Meilak
14:23 Caruana Galizia continues to read from these emails. Fenech had said “This was one huge stress, I was petrified” in one email, and in another email he is seen speaking of plans to sue David Casa and Manuel Delia in London with a top libel lawyer.
Meanwhile, Yorgen Fenech gestured. “Illum ma ħareġ xejn,” he says (Nothing new came from this hearing).
Nicole Meilak
14:21 Remember Daphne’s comment mentioned earlier that Konrad Mizzi had met with Yorgen Fenech following her 17 Black blog post? Here’s what the full comment said. Nicole Meilak
14:19 Mercieca objects again, “This should be used in the closing remarks to a jury. Never have I seen a witness be allowed to testify so freely in a court of law.”
The court overrules the objection, however, pointing out that he was giving information to the compilation of evidence.
Nicole Meilak
14:18 “We were looking at all kinds of data, and one of the things that I want to present to the court, because it helps describe what we were working on at the time, is an email sent by Yorgen Fenech in 2018. This was before Thomson Reuters published the story on 17 Black. […] It was an email Fenech sent to his wife. Part of the data was presented in this compilation of evidence." Nicole Meilak
14:15 Mercieca stands up and states that this document has no reference to Keith Schembri, but only an initial. He says that the evidence of the inspector verges on hearsay, more so Caruana Galizia's.
"I can't go back in time and produce a recording of my conversation with my mother, but I can go back and get notes which had been taken at the time. […] Where I have a note or a message or an email I will present that, but I don't always have that unfortunately.”
Nicole Meilak
14:14 “After the murder I did my best to continue my mother's investigative work, and this involves speaking with sources. It was in that form that I saw hard evidence that Yorgen Fenech owned 17 Black. I was contacted by someone who said he had information from a bank in the Gulf where he was trying to open an account to cash cheques. They're manager's checks which are issued by banks when closing accounts,” he said. Nicole Meilak
14:10 He mentions emails sent by Michael Kuntz, who was project coordinator for Electrogas, to liaise with Keith Schembri, who he refers to as "Special K". In these emails, he is seen asking Yorgen Fenech whether they should take a decision that could affect the relationship with Keith Schembri. Nicole Meilak
14:05 He refers to a blog post titled "17 Black the PM claims not to know anything about it" from 27 Feb 2017. On 26 May 2017, she published a draft FIAU report that was leaked, mentioning 17 Black. He lists further blog posts penned by his mother mentioning 17 Black. Nicole Meilak
14:03 They noticed that Yorgen Fenech was hugely influential, given the volume of emails being exchanged, and what was being asked of him by shareholders and Electrogas employees. This led to Daphne Caruana Galizia focusing more on him.
“This draws attention to you, but this is the risk you have to take as a reporter,” he says.
Nicole Meilak
14:01 On the same day she published another blog post, saying that she had learned that 17 Black in UAE was being used to move money connected to Electrogas. “Fenech was a key person in the investigation. We considered him to be a member of this clique that my mother was writing about.”
Fenech is seen smiling briefly and looking down.
Nicole Meilak
13:59 He now refers to a blog post from 22 February 2016, titled ‘Konrad Mizzi and Sai Mizzi Yang’s Easter Lunch’. Daphne told her son that Konrad Mizzi had gone ‘berserk’ after the publication of the story.
A year later, she mentioned 17 Black publicly, after a long time investigating its ownership. In the comments under this blog post, there is a comment from someone talking about a conversation they witnessed between Mizzi and someone else. Caruana Galizia had replied, saying that it figured and mentioned Yorgen Fenech.
Nicole Meilak
13:56 The lawyers are starting to bicker over the relevance of Caruana Galizia’s testimony so far, but the witness continues. He said that the different threats across their investigations were dovetailing, between Electrogas and the Azerbaijani laundromat, and the work of other journalists. Nicole Meilak
13:54 With his mum, Caruana Galizia also discussed Silvio Valletta’s role in the FIAU. “Had things been different, we would have acted differently.”
He mentioned that Valletta and Fenech were in a Whatsapp group called “No Valletta No Party”.
Nicole Meilak
13:53 “The people she was investigating controlled or had a huge amount of influence to punish her sources, but this is something I discussed with my mother as a strategy. One time I was called to testify before a Magistrate. When I mentioned that Ian Abdilla would be in the room, my mother told me he was completely untrustworthy, as he was an associate of those she was investigating.” Nicole Meilak
13:50 “My mother and I never discussed the information on email or over an open phone line as it was too risky. So, I would make frequent trips to Malta. […] The way she worked was that she hardly ever did anything through email, or by saving drafts on Google docs, and so on. […] If she had absolutely had to tell me something electronically, she would instruct the recipient to delete the message after reading it.” Nicole Meilak
13:48 The Electrogas story had to go out when it went out, he said, even though he and Daphne "were saving things for a big splash". When new journalists started looking at the information after it was published, more information was uncovered. If she had still been alive, she would have been able to gather the information herself, he said. Nicole Meilak
13:45 He explains that he had lost his phone at one point but confirmed that the exchange he presented took place. "It's the best evidence that I have at this point." Nicole Meilak
13:44 His mum asked about an email mentioning the companies, which would help protect the source. “I replied that the data we had didn’t go that far. […] She was on the trail of these two companies before anyone else,” he said, referring to Macbridge and 17 Black. Nicole Meilak
13:43 "Since I last testified, Thomson Reuters and Times of Malta published a report on Macbridge... In this report the journalists reproduced a verbatim copy of a WhatsApp message between myself and my mother,” he says, reading out the exchange. Nicole Meilak
13:39 He exhibits a copy of a note that his mother had taken, dated before April 2017, when she had published a report based on this data. "She made a note with pending items to investigate. The first on the list was 'Yorgen phonecall'. Below that she wrote ‘Electrogas’.” Nicole Meilak
13:37 “In 2017, my mother gave me several numbers of people in contact with Keith Schembri. The information proved highly reliable and accurate, and was confirmed by several people. One of those numbers was Yorgen Fenech's.”
Caruana Galizia pauses as he leafs through his file, looking for a document.
Nicole Meilak
13:35 “The way we worked was very different from each other, my mother was a classically trained reporter, calling people up, using the phone and doing the writing. […] She was always the one who did the writing and sent the question. But she would ask me to help with things she was unskilled in dealing with, like data and using software. […] This was how we started to focus on Yorgen Fenech.” Nicole Meilak
13:34 “I helped the investigations in any way I could. I didn't want the murder to achieve its goal and stop what my mother started.”
This led to a succession of reports later known as the Daphne Project.
Nicole Meilak
13:33 “We were under pressure after the murder. It became worse, I was hardly in a position to continue the investigative work my mother had started. So my family and I took the decision to work with a team of investigative journalists.” Nicole Meilak
13:33 “It was only a few days after the murder that I passed on the data to two investigative journalists. I recognised how important this information was, so I made backup copies and made sure to send them to people I trusted in case something happened to me as well, so this information wouldn't be lost.” Nicole Meilak
13:32 “My mother had her website which wasn't really set up to do something like this, and the work took even longer because we - my mother , myself and a few other journalists involved- felt very isolated and didn't want to get more people involved in the investigation.” He added that the source was also at risk. Nicole Meilak
13:31 “My mother did publish some blog posts and articles which were based on data and information coming from that source, but we had decided that it was something so big that we had to wait till the end of the year. There was a lot of chaos surrounding the election and we didn't want it to be lost in all that.” Nicole Meilak
13:30 Caruana Galizia said that he helped his mum to receive documents from the source, after his mum and the source started to liaise digitally. “My mother didn't know how to set up systems and technical stuff like that. Nicole Meilak
13:29 “This person was sending such a volume of documents, all of which were relevant. […] I realised that this was not someone who has a vendetta... not someone who was fired or wanted revenge or something. […] This was something we had to pay attention to.” Nicole Meilak
13:27 “In 2017 my mother was facing lots of pressure and harassment and lawsuits, but she was also receiving lots of information from sources,” he said. “I travelled to Malta, and we looked at some of the things she was working on. She told me that she had a source who was passing on extremely important information and emails from Electrogas. She started showing me these documents.” Nicole Meilak
13:26 "The way things worked out, was when I started working on the Panama Papers in joined up with my mother's investigations in Malta. My mother was investigating Electrogas and was suspicious about it from the beginning. At the time some journalists I was working with were investigating SOCAR, one of the shareholders in Electrogas. This is why I started working more closely with my mother.” Nicole Meilak
13:24 The defence says it is not necessary for Caruana Galizia to exhibit his CV and qualifications. Inspector Zahra asks the witness what he knows about his mother's murder case. Nicole Meilak
13:24 "For many years these investigations were what I lived, day to day." Nicole Meilak
13:23 "These investigations involved an enormous amount of work with the team, and as a result we got to know the subject matter really well. We acquired experience in investigating tax evasion, money laundering and tax avoidance and financial crime," he said. Nicole Meilak
13:22 When he started working with the ICIJ, Caruana Galizia investigated money laundering and corruption. He worked on the Swiss Leaks investigation on HSBC in Switzerland, the Lux Leaks investigation on tax deals, and various investigations including the Panama Papers which he started working on in 2015 and carried on with for four years after that. He was also involved in the Paradise Papers investigation. Nicole Meilak
13:19 Caruana Galizia had previously testified in these proceedings. He says that he is currently the director of the Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation, having previously worked with the ICIJ and in Costa Rica with a newspaper, also in partnership with the ICIJ. He holds a masters in journalism. Nicole Meilak
13:17 The compilation of evidence continues. Matthew Caruana Galizia is summoned to the witness stand and administered the oath. Nicole Meilak
13:15 A knock on the door and Magistrate Rachel Montebello emerges from chambers. The court is dealing with another case, hence the delay. Nicole Meilak
13:07 The courtroom is slowly starting to fill up again, with Inspector Kurt Zahra, Assistant Attorney General Philip Galea Farrugia and lawyers Gianluca Caruana Curran and Charles Mercieca all filing in. Nicole Meilak
13:06 Yorgen Fenech has returned to the courtroom in anticipation of the restart in proceedings. Matthew Caruana Galizia, Daphne’s son, will be next to testify. Nicole Meilak
12:41 We will continue with the live blog when the hearing resumes. Nicole Meilak
12:41 Inspector Zahra tells the court that the next and final witness will testify for about an hour. The court orders a break till 1pm. Nicole Meilak
12:41 His testimony ends, and the witness steps off the stand. Nicole Meilak
12:40 He had testified twice before the courts on this issue. He doesn't recall Degiorgio’s number. "It's on my phone, which is in the custody of the police along with many other belongings which I haven't been able to use for a long time now." Nicole Meilak
12:37 Miguel Caruana from GO takes the stand next. He said that he’s worked for the company for over 20 years. Caruana is asked about a top up voucher he had been asked to buy for George Degiorgio. “I assumed it was for his son who is mentioned in the contract, so I bought it and passed on the details. It was on 11:30 on 16 October 2017.”
There was another time when he had bought a top-up for Degiorgio, but this was a long time ago, he says. He also mentions that he used to go fishing with George Degiorgio at Marsa.
“Fishing, nothing special,” he says.
Nicole Meilak
12:34 Another witness, Roderick Abdilla, takes the stand now. He's a manager at Transport Malta’s small ship register. A search on George Degiorgio shows that he had registrations from July 1999 to April 2017. It was a Maxum type, small boat. There are no further questions for him. Nicole Meilak
12:32 Michael Savona, from the merchant shipping directorate at Transport Malta, is summoned to the stand next. He exhibits a transcript of records involving two vessels registered under George Degiorgio and Alfred Degiorgio. One of these vessels is ‘Maya’, belonging to Alfred Degiorgio, and the other vessel is ‘Ducu’ as registered under George Degiorgio. The ‘Maya’ was provisionally registered in 2000. Nicole Meilak
12:29 The Hyndai was rented out for 10-12 days, he said. "We couldn't find the documents. When a rental is finished, I burn my records of it because they would contain Visa details which were ‘a bit hot’.” The Hyundai would have had a sticker advertising his garage on it, he adds. That is all from this witness. Nicole Meilak
12:26 Degiorgio would go to the garage together with an older man who would be wearing a cap, the witness recalled. “He had rented a couple of cars from me but it was a long time ago,” he added. Nicole Meilak
12:25 It was the 10th of the month when he had contacted Degiorgio about the ticket, but was unable to recall which month. It was a parking ticket, he said. Nicole Meilak
12:23 It was a Hyundai i10. Degiorgio had previously driven a Peugot 407 also rented from Schembri. Degiorgio had asked to change it as it was “unwieldy”, said the witness.
He says that this was around four or five years ago, “2016, I think”.
Nicole Meilak
12:22 He says that he had rented a car to a certain Alfred.
“Degiorgio? I think so. At the end of the month he received a ticket and came to me.”
Nicole Meilak
12:21 The request appears to have been upheld. The expert steps off the stand.
Another witness is called in, Raymond Schembri. He used to lease out cars under Paradise Garage and Lionheart Garage.
Nicole Meilak
12:20 It seems that Mercieca has a list of questions for this witness too. He asks about whether the expert could detect if it is a copy or original data. The answer is a technical one, dealing with MD5 hashes and other specialist jargon.
“I have checked every file to the last second,” Cardona says.
Meanwhile, Mercieca asks the court of it could order a transcript of these new recordings.
Nicole Meilak
12:11 Court expert Alvin Cardona is summoned to the stand next. He was engaged to make a forensic copy of all voice recordings found in two hard drives. It is not clear which voice recordings these are. He is also presenting a copy of his report to the court. Nicole Meilak
12:10 Those few questions mark the end of Harmoinen's testimony. He steps off the podium to make way for the next witness. Nicole Meilak
12:09 Mercieca accuses Harmoinen of speaking to Jason Azzopardi before the hearing. “How does he know him?” Mercieca questions.
“I don’t know him” the witness replies. “He was commenting on how hot it is and I said it was like a Finnish sauna.”
Nicole Meilak
12:08 "I noticed you outside talking to Matthew Caruana Galizia. Can you tell me how you know him?"
This question is met with loud protestations from the prosecution, arguing that he is supposed to be questioned on the contents of his testimony.
“I have no idea who he is,” the witness replies.
Nicole Meilak
12:06 "It was Mr. Donatas who told you to take the phones to the Hague, correct?"
"I don't recall exactly what kind of conversation I had with my supervisor but I was told to take them to the Hague."
Nicole Meilak
12:03 "Two last questions and then you're done for today," says Mercieca. Nicole Meilak
12:03 Mercieca moves on to other questions. Dissecting his testimony, he asks about the incision Harmoinen said he made in the evidence bag. "I made the incision to attach the charging cable to the phone that was in the bag." Nicole Meilak
12:02 Mercieca asks why Harmoinen didn’t give two specific phones to the three Malta-based experts, but the court points out that this is the third time he had asked the same question. “Why are you asking this again?” Nicole Meilak
11:59 Regarding the seizure of evidence: "Who did you instruct and what did you instruct them to do?"
"My instructions for the Maltese authorities were to ensure the devices were in flight mode," Harmoinen said.
Nicole Meilak
11:55 Answering another question by Mercieca, Harmoinen said he was instructed to deliver the phones in a specific way, including a battery pack and a Faraday bag, he said. "This is basic procedure when handling exhibits," says the witness. Nicole Meilak
11:53 Mercieca says that the businessman's phone was "seized by the expert." Harmoinen denies this and says it was passed on to him by his supervisor.
“Was he aware that his supervisor was not authorised to do so?” asks the lawyer. He was not, Harmoinen replies.
Nicole Meilak
11:49 Several important witnesses are expected to testify after Harmoinen, yet Mercieca is interrogating the expert with a long list of unproductive questions. Nicole Meilak
11:47 Mercieca continues. “What was so special about the two phones which were delivered to the Hague?”
The witness replies that the Hague had the required tools to unlock and unencrypt the devices, but Mercieca quickly rebuts this, adding that the iMach was not encrypted, and assumably much easier to unlock.
Nicole Meilak
11:42 "What's so special about that item? Why?" Mercieca pressed.
"This is the iMac which I referred to earlier today, which was on and not encrypted," Harmoinen replied.
Nicole Meilak
11:37 Mercieca asks the witness to clarify whether he had been given a mandate by the magistrate and had then expanded on it after receiving instructions from his line manager and the Maltese police.
He further challenges the witness on why he had written down information relating to the iMac and other things in his notes this morning.
Nicole Meilak
11:32 "Who instructed you to carry out the particular searches?"
"It was the Maltese police," Harmoinen said. However, he could not recall any individual names.
Nicole Meilak
11:29 Asked if Magistrate Neville Camilleri had given him a written instruction, Harmoinen said yes, but he had not brought it with him. Nicole Meilak
11:28 Mercieca asks whether he had taken notes with regards his instructions, exhibits and so on. "You can see all the information on the delivery papers," said the expert, adding that he was dealing with encryption and locked devices. Nicole Meilak
11:27 Mercieca asks the witness about his career. Harmoinen started off as a uniformed police officer, then moved to an IT unit. He was eventually seconded to Europol. Now, he is working in the digital forensic lab. Nicole Meilak
11:26 The witness exhibits the documents and his handwritten notes for today's sitting. Mercieca asks when he prepared the notes. "This morning" replies the witness. "With regards the you have any other notes or documentation with regards your involvement in the investigation?" Mercieca asks. Harmoinen confirmed that there are no other notes. Nicole Meilak
11:25 Harmoinen finishes his testimony. Charles Mercieca asks the witness to let him see the documents he had made reference to. Nicole Meilak
11:23 One of the phones was delivered to the head of his section on 22 November 2019. 2 Exhibits - unsealed, an iPhone and SIM card. "It was unsealed because after his phone was delivered to me, it was locked and needed to be unlocked. At the time we didn'th ave the tools to do this in Malta so it had to be delivered to our HQ in the Hague. I had made a small hole in the evidence bag to connect a charger cable. Nicole Meilak
11:19 Zahra is now showing the witness another batch of documents for the witness to explain and take ownership of. Harmoinen says that they are related to the custody of the exhibits and how they were passed on to his colleagues. Nicole Meilak
11:14 Inspector Kurt Zahra is presenting to him several delivery papers by which he had taken stock of the exhibits and consigned them to his colleagues. Harmoinen confirms that he signed the documents while giving an overview of what the documents said. Nicole Meilak
11:08 After all the searches were completed, his other colleagues arrived in Malta and he handed the exhibits to them. He had no further role in the investigation, he said. Nicole Meilak
11:07 Searches were conducted on other locations, including the Portomaso business tower and offices. He had arrived at the accused’s boat in Portomaso at 11am on 20 November 2019, by which time the Maltese authorities had already searched it and had seized a phone and other devices.Later, he helped conduct a search on the Portomaso home of the accused, where the iMac was found. Another search took place at Fenech’s office on Level 21 of the Portomaso Tower – the police were already there when Harmoinen arrived. Nicole Meilak
10:59 Harmoinen had to make sure that all the evidence was isolated and taken off the grid. He said that there was only one computer, an iMac found at Portomaso, that was on and locked but not encrypted. “I was there when this computer was found”. Nicole Meilak
10:58 Here is he referring to digital evidence, such as mobiles and laptops. His task was to examine the devices handed over to him by the Maltese authorities. Nicole Meilak
10:56 Sami Harmoinen reads out his qualifications relating to his expertise. "I was appointed as a court expert by Magistrate Neville Camilleri in the case of the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. My role in this investigation was to assist the Maltese authorities in the house search... looking for evidence". Nicole Meilak
10:55 Prison Director Col. Alex Dalli has also entered the courtroom. Nicole Meilak
10:53 With her testimony over, the court calls the next witness: Finnish Europol expert Sami Harmoinen. Nicole Meilak
10:53 A Deputy Registrar from the Criminal Court takes the stand first to exhibit a transcript of a CD exhibited by Inspector Kurt Zahra. Nicole Meilak
10:49 A knock at the chambers door and the magistrate emerges. After swiftly dealing with another case, the sitting in the case against Fenech begins. His lawyers Charles Mercieca and Gianluca Caruana Curran have entered the courtroom. Nicole Meilak
10:47 Reminder: Yorgen Fenech is alleged to have masterminded the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. Matthew and Andrew Caruana Galizia, two of Daphne’s sons, are both in court, together with her three sisters.

Yorgen Fenech’s wife and his mother are also in attendance.

Nicole Meilak
10:36 The courtroom players are all present, but a previous sitting caused slight delays. The case is expected to start any minute now. Nicole Meilak
10:20 Good morning. The compilation of evidence against Yorgen Fenech continues today in Hall 20. Nicole Meilak