Murder suspect was the last one to call the victim, court is told

The last phone call received by murder victim Roderick Grech was from a contact saved as 'Vojt' - ostensibly referring to murder suspect Etienne Bartolo, known as il-Vojt

Murder victim, Roderick Grech
Murder victim, Roderick Grech

The last phone call received by murder victim Roderick Grech was from a contact saved as “Vojt,” a court has been told.

This emerged during the compilation of evidence against Etienne Bartolo, 36 of Birkirkara, known as “il-Vojt” this morning. Bartolo isaccused of stabbing Grech to death in Tumas Fenech Street in Birkirkara on March 29 this year.

A court-appointed expert who had examined the mobile phones of both the victim and the accused told the court that according to the device's call log, the last call was received from a contact saved as ‘Vojt.’

He had been appointed by the duty magistrate to collect two mobiles belonging to the victim of the alleged stabbing as well as another belonging to the prime suspect, Bartolo.

The expert explained to Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech that while he had been able to retrieve all data from one of the victim’s phones, he had been unable to access the second phone, which was locked with a passcode.

The court upheld the prosecution's request that it authorise the expert to confer with other experts in the field so as to gain access to the phone.

Scene of crime officers told the court that they had gathered blood samples from the scene, together with samples of a white substance recovered from the car. The substance was passed on for further testing and the vehicle was towed to the police impound yard.  In previous sittings, the court had been told that the stabbing had occurred inside a car where the two had met to conclude a drug deal.

Inspector Kurt Zahra prosecuted.

Lawyer Edward Gatt was defence counsel


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