Magistrate finds enough evidence to indict Yorgen Fenech on money laundering charges

Yorgen Fenech is set to be formally charged for money laundering, apart from other charges in separate proceedings

Yorgen Fenech
Yorgen Fenech

A court has found sufficient prima facie evidence to place Yorgen Fenech under a bill of indictment for money laundering offences.

Fenech is accused of laundering and misappropriating funds from a company that he owns with his uncle Ray Fenech.

On Monday the court heard transcripts of chats where Fenech asked “how much did we launder” and goes on to say “so that no questions are asked.”

But the court also heard the prosecuting inspector say that he could not tie the charges to any predicate offence at this stage of proceedings.

Reading through the decree of prima facie, in court on Tuesday morning, the magistrate noted that the underlying criminal activity had not yet been identified, but after examining the law and recent judgments of the superior courts, noted that at this stage the court was only required to determine whether there appeared to be a case to answer.

She underlined that when a court of compilation is asked to see if there is sufficient evidence to indict in money laundering cases, the onus of proof in such cases is on the accused, as opposed to the norm.

"From the evidence in particular the chats there appears to be a case to answer" decreed the magistrate on Tuesday.

During the previous sitting, Fenech’s lawyers denounced what they described as a ‘frenzy to persecute’ their client.

Also on Monday, presiding magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech turned down a recusal request filed by Yorgen Fenech’s lawyers.

The compilation of evidence will continue on 19 October.

READ MORE: Prosecutors detail Yorgen Fenech money laundering case

Lawyer Charles Mercieca, appearing for Fenech together with lawyers Gianluca Caruana Curran and Marion Camilleri. 

Lawyers Cinzia Azzopardi Alamango and Marthese Grech from the Office of the Attorney General are prosecuting together with Police Inspector Brian Camilleri.


12:51 That's it for today. Thanks for following today's case with us. A write-up will be available soon. Nicole Meilak
12:43 Both cases have been put off to 19 October. Nicole Meilak
12:43 Nicholas Cachia and his father, Joseph, are also to be placed under indictment, the court rules. Nicole Meilak
12:42 The magistrate explains that, at this stage, the court is not to examine evidence but to see if the prosecution can build a case. Any doubt is to go in favour of the prosecution. Nicole Meilak
12:41 Nicholas Cachia had previous been mentioned as the man with whom Fenech discussed plans to escape from Malta following his arrests. Nicole Meilak
12:40 The sitting is over for Yorgen Fenech, however the magistrate will now read another connected decree in proceedings against Nicholas Cachia. Nicole Meilak
12:33 She finds sufficient prima facie evidence to place Fenech under a bill of indictment. Nicole Meilak
12:32 She underlines that a court of compilation is asked to see if there is sufficient evidence to indict. In money laundering cases, it becomes more complex as the onus of proof is on the accused. “From the evidence in particular chats there appears to be a case to answer,” says the magistrate. Nicole Meilak
12:27 She is quoting legal amendments and judgements of the superior courts, noting that at this stage the court should only see if the accused has a case to answer. Nicole Meilak
12:27 The sitting has already begun. Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech is reading through a decree, noting that the underlying criminal activity in these charges has not been identified yet. Nicole Meilak
12:26 Good morning. Our court reporter is live in the courtroom to follow the compilation of evidence against Yorgen Fenech over money laundering charges. Nicole Meilak