Courts reject final pre-trial appeal by Degiorgio brothers, clear way for jury trial

The trial is unlikely to happen before next September

Brothers Alfred and George Degiorgio
Brothers Alfred and George Degiorgio

The Maltese courts have rejected the final pre-trial appeal filed by the two men accused of carrying out Daphne Caruana Galizia's assassination, clearing the way for a jury trial.

The trial is unlikely to happen before next September.

Brothers Alfred and George Degiorgio had appealed a decision delivered by Madam Justice Edwina Grima last October rejecting over 100 pre-trial pleas put forward by defence lawyer William Cuschieri.

The Degiorgios have been under arrest since December 2017, when they were charged in connection with the car bombing which targeted journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

The accused had objected to that part of Superintendent Keith Arnaud’s testimony which referred to information obtained through phone intercepts carried out by the security services.

When testifying in the compilation of evidence stage, Arnaud had referred to that information without exhibiting the warrant authorising the relative phone taps as well as subsequent recordings and transcripts.

Arnaud had identified the speaker in those intercepted calls as George Degiorgio.

The Degiorgios’ objection to that reference was upheld on appeal and the court ordered the removal of that part of Arnaud’s testimony from the records of the case.

No reference to such information is to be made by the police officer when testifying at the upcoming murder trial.

In reaction, the Daphne Caruana Galizia foundation said that today's judgement is one step closer to justice.