Judge rejects Degiorgio brothers' request to delay Daphne murder trial

A judge has rejected a request by George and Alfred Degiorgio to have their upcoming murder trial delayed • Men are accused of assassinating Daphne Caruana Galizia

George and Alfred Degiorgio are accused of murdering Daphne Caruana Galizia in October 2017
George and Alfred Degiorgio are accused of murdering Daphne Caruana Galizia in October 2017

A judge has rejected a request to delay the trial of two men accused of carrying out the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in 2017.

The decision comes after brothers Alfred and George Degiorgio had filed an application before the First Hall of the Civil Court in its Constitutional jurisdiction earlier this month. They claimed their defence in the upcoming trial was going to be hindered by the fact that their lawyer had recently renounced their brief.

For the past five years, the Degiorgios had been represented by lawyer William Cuschieri. Their defence, at least initially, was funded by Yorgen Fenech, who stands indicted for organising the murder.

Cuschieri informed the trial judge last month that he was renouncing his brief. The brothers were subsequently assigned legal aid lawyers, whom they initially refused to cooperate with.

In a previous sitting, the legal aid lawyers Simon Micallef Stafrace and Martin Farrugia had asked the court to issue an interim measure that would postpone the jury and give them time to acquaint themselves with the mountain of evidence in this case.

When the case was called on Tuesday afternoon, Madam Justice Audrey Demicoli read out her decision, denying the Degiorgios’ request for an interim measure to suspend the upcoming jury, ordering them to bear costs.

The accused nodded in what looked like resignation.

The judge then adjourned the constitutional case to November to hear the plaintiff’s evidence, with legal aid lawyer Joseph Bonnici informing the court that he would have to consult with his clients to see whether they wished to file an appeal against the decision.

Legal aid lawyer Joseph Bonnici is representing the Degiorgios in the constitutional proceedings.

Lawyers Carina Camilleri Testa and Maurizio Cordina appeared for the AG and the State Advocate, respectively.

Lawyers Therese Comodini Cachia, Jason Azzopardi and Eve Borg Costanzi appeared on behalf of the Caruana Galizia family.