Daphne Caruana Galizia murder | Court analyses footage of Degiorgio’s boat

Compilation of evidence continued as Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit heard court-appointed experts on the footage captured of the vessel 'Maya' used by the accused
 

The compilation of evidence against three men accused of murdering Daphne Caruana Galizia continued today.

Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit heard court-appointed experts in their analysis of the footage captured of the sea vessel 'Maya', belonging to one of the accused, Alfred Degiorgio and purportedly used to detonate the car bomb that killed the late investigative journalist.

Alfred Degiorgio's Maya, from which the bomb that killed Daphne Caruana Galizia was purportedly detonated
Alfred Degiorgio's Maya, from which the bomb that killed Daphne Caruana Galizia was purportedly detonated

Today, Stafrace Zammit heard the testimony of several court-appointed experts as they presented their analyses of the evidence they compiled.

The first witness was IT expert Keith Cutajar who was to determine the time when the Maya vessel entered Grand Harbour. The defense counsel attempted to cast doubt on whether the boat displayed in the footage was the same Maya that belonged to the accused, Alfred Degiorgio. Expert said that the model of the vessel was the only one of its kind in Malta.

The court also heard evidence that was collected from a Mosta farmhouse close to where the bomb went off in Bidnija as well as from the scene of the crime itself. A team of forensic specialists testified.

The forensic experts presented car plastic parts bearing fingerprints, 11 CDs of material, packaging tape, binoculars and a monoscope among other things. It was explained how this evidence was collected and preserved.

The court was adjourned until February 15.

13:34 Thanks for following the live blog. David Hudson
13:34 The case has been adjourned until February 15. David Hudson
13:04 The tent ensures that the quality of the evidence collected is preserved. These items go to the tent and eventually pass on to the Exhibits Officer. David Hudson
13:03 Inspector Casha explains the role of the white tent that was erected at the scene of the crime in Bidnija. David Hudson
13:03 Scene of the Crime Officer, Charlot Casha explains how evidence was collected. Casha's role is to search for and compile evidence, as well as preserve the objects adequately. David Hudson
13:01 Inspector Charlot Casha is next to give testimony. He had been appointed to take DNA mouth swabs of Alfred and George Degiorgio. David Hudson
13:00 Officers will testify on collection of evidence and how this was preserved. David Hudson
13:00 Court is informed that one of them would not be present since she is currently abroad. David Hudson
12:59 A team of nine forensic police officers will testify. David Hudson
12:58 Court resumes... David Hudson
12:22 The sitting is still adjourned. David Hudson
11:33 Court proceedings have adjourned for a 30-minute lunch break until noon David Hudson
11:23 Three experts from the Police Forensic Unit take to the witness stand together. David Hudson
11:20 Hughes says that these items must first be photographed, visually examined and eventually tested for fingerprints. David Hudson
11:19 Other items presented include a pair of binoculars, a monoscope, which was found in a Ford Transit, and packaging tape. These were taken from a Mosta house. David Hudson
11:13 Items collected from the crime scene, including car plastic parts bearing fingerprints, are handed over to the court. David Hudson
11:02 Former police sergeant Jeffrey Hughes another appointed court expert into the murder, takes to the stand. He says he examined plastic parts from the scene of the crime as well as around 11 CDs of material. David Hudson
10:52 They visited a number of locations together with a Europol representative and lifted fingerprints and other evidence. The officers presented their report and photographs - 5 volumes in all. David Hudson
10:52 Two police officers from the special branch of the Police Forensic Unit are testifying next. David Hudson
10:40 Asked whether he could exclude the possibility that the boat was from another flag-state, visiting Malta, the witness said it was highly unlikely as there are flagstate controls which would lead to it being identified. David Hudson
10:38 The features of this boat are the same as those of the vessel which is in the possession of the police, replied the witness. “I am 95% sure." David Hudson
10:37 Lawyer William Cuschieri is asking whether the witness could reach a conclusion as to whether the boat in the footage is the same as Degiorgio’s vessel. David Hudson
10:30 Witness is being cross-examined by lawyer Martin Fenech who is asking about details of where the name and model of the boat are visible David Hudson
10:08 He added that it was the only model of its kind in Malta. David Hudson
10:07 The boat, made by American manufacturer Wellcraft was a Martinique 2800. The model of the vessel is not common in Malta, he said. David Hudson
10:07 One of the non-standard features of the Maya was a searchlight and a radar arch as well as a green canopy, he said. David Hudson
10:06 Another witness: Capt. Reuben Lanfranco, takes the stand. He had been appointed to examine the boat and had taken note of some distinctive markings and features David Hudson
10:06 Could he identify any individuals on it? "Yes on one occasion, 11 January, the faces are clearly visible." David Hudson
10:06 In cross-examination lawyer WIlliam Cuschieri is asking whether it is the same boat, with the witness replying that they were "very similar" David Hudson
10:04 Lawyers Peter Caruana Galizia and Eve Borg Costanzi have just walked in. Peter Caruana Galizia is the widower of the victim. David Hudson
10:04 Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit is hearing a court-appointed expert explaining his report on CCTV footage from Transport Malta relating to the sea vessel "Maya". Stills and footage were extracted from the footage and scrutinised image by image he said. David Hudson

The key courtroom players:

William Cuschieri and Martha Muscat are appearing for Alfred Degiorgio, known as il-Fulu, 53.

Martin Fenech is appearing for Vince Muscat, known as il-Koħħu, 55.

Josette Sultana is appearing for George Degiorgio, known as iċ-Ċiniz, 55.

Philip Galea Farrugia from the Attorney General's Office and Inspectors Keith Arnaud and Kurt Zahra are appearing for the prosecution.

Jason Azzopardi and Therese Comodini Cachia are appearing parte civile.

Who are the accused

  • George Degiorgio 55, unemployed, lives in St Paul’s Bay, known as Ic-Ciniz
  • Alfred Degiorgio, 53, unemployed lives in St Paul’s Bay, known as il-Fulu
  • Vincent Muscat, 55, unemployed lives in Msida, known as il-Kohhu

 

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