Compilation of evidence against Daphne Caruana Galizia murder suspects continues

The compilation of evidence against the three men accused of murdering journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia enters its fourteenth month with the suspects back in court today  

The compilation of evidence against the men accused of committing her murder continues today
The compilation of evidence against the men accused of committing her murder continues today

The compilation of evidence against the three men accused of murdering journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in October 2017 resumed on Friday.

During today’s sitting, lawyers for the accused insisted with the court that IT expert Martin Bajada not be allowed to testify. The lawyers had presented a constitutional case asking the court to stop Bajada from testifying since over a theft and fraud conviction back in 1993, but it was turned down by the court.

The court also heard testimony from the police regarding four other boats similar to the Maya, the boat from which one of the three suspects, George Degiorgio, is believed to have detonated the bomb that killed Caruana Galizia.

The court heard the police and other officials state that there were four other boats that were similar and that neither of them was in the water on the day of the murder.

The boats’ owners also testified today.

Last to testify were a number of police officers who explained analysis that had been carried out on various pieces of evidence collected over the course of the investigation.

Read the full live blog below for the all the details.

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

12:46 That concludes today's sitting. The case will continue on the 1 March Paul Cocks
12:40 A police sergeant from the forensic unit who examined two telescopes, a piece of tape and two lens cloths for fingerprints says that he could not find any Paul Cocks
12:34 And we're back Paul Cocks
12:00 The court is suspended for a 15-minute break Paul Cocks
11:50 The report documents police inspections which took place at those properties Paul Cocks
11:47 One is a garage, the other a farmhouse belonging to a third party and one belongs to one of the accused Paul Cocks
11:46 Another scene of the crime office, a segeant, is presenting a report with photos of properties in Zebbug, Most and St Paul's Bay Paul Cocks
11:34 He is explaining the photographs he took of the residence including technical details about the equipment used Paul Cocks
11:31 The police sergeant who had been tasked with taking photographs of the Caruana Galizia residence is next to take the stand Paul Cocks
11:30 Fenech asks him how he recognises hthe boat from photographs. The owner responds that he recognises the boat from its antifouling paint. He says there is no name visible because the boat is covered Paul Cocks
11:24 "It has never been in the water since we got it," he says Paul Cocks
11:22 The final boat owner, the first one which was purchased in Libya, says he hasn't yet put it in the water as it is still being prepared. He also says the boat was ashore in October 2017 Paul Cocks
11:19 Fenech again asks whether the boat has a canopy, a spotlight and aerials. The owner responds and says the boat has a spotlight at the very front as well as aerials Paul Cocks
11:17 The owner of the second boat, who doesn't reside in Malta, said that the last time he had used it was 10 years ago and confirmed that the boat was brought ahsore for maintenance every two years Paul Cocks
11:16 Lawyer Martin Fenech is asking owners whether their boats have a spotlight and other types of equipment. Paul Cocks
11:16 The owner of one of the other three boats, a Wellcraft Martinique 24-foot boat, says the boat had belonged to him since 2010 and was kept at the Mgarr marina in Gozo. He says the boat was in his garage in October 2017 Paul Cocks
11:08 The owner of the third boat, the one found in a field in Mellieha, says he has owned the boat for about seven years and uses it in summer only and that it wasn't in the water in October 2017 Paul Cocks
10:59 Another of the boats was in Gozo and stored in garage. I had been there for two years Paul Cocks
10:57 The third vessel was found in a field in Mellieha but was in the water during the summer, he said. Paul Cocks
10:57 A second vessel, the Blue Wave, belongs to an individual that doesn't live in Malta. It has rarely left the pontoon over a span of ten years but maintenance is carried out on it every two years Paul Cocks
10:56 One vessel, he says, was ashore and being repaired. The owner bought it from Libya where it had been damaged and he was fixing it in his garage Paul Cocks
10:51 The segeant had spoken to the owners of all the four vessels and taken photos of them Paul Cocks
10:49 He is testifying about an email listing the boats and their owners Paul Cocks
10:49 A police sergeant now takes the stand Paul Cocks
10:48 "But I am obliged to bring the best evidence. We didn't have to do this exercise before the arraignment" Paul Cocks
10:48 "When the mobiles leave the accused's home, they go to Marsa, and then to the vessel. After the bomb went off you see the mobile coming back to shore," Arnaud said Paul Cocks
10:46 Cuschieri now asks why he was only brining this evidence now, 18 months later Paul Cocks
10:45 "We were beyond certain that it was the maya. Fullstop. For the use of the court I am obliged to bring all the evidence, which is what I'm doing" he continues Paul Cocks
10:45 The two argue before Arnaud tells the lawyer: "Would you like me to tell you I have a doubt? Would that make you happy?" Paul Cocks
10:43 "No. On our side we were beyond certain that it was the Maya. The investigating team were certain because of the pattern of the mobiles movements. The three mobiles leave..." he responds, before being interrupted by Cushcieri Paul Cocks
10:42 Cuschieri asks whether Arnaud had any doubts that it was the Maya Paul Cocks
10:42 Inspector Arnuad says that the other vessels similar to the Maya were out of the water, drydocked or garaged. He says the reason the information hadn’t been gathered before the arraignment was because it was felt that it was clear that it was the Maya, but after that the other four similar boats were also checked. Paul Cocks
10:36 The court says it will decree in chambers about the issue Paul Cocks
10:35 The suspects have argued that Bajada should not be allowed to testify because he had been convicted of fraud and theft back in 1993 Paul Cocks
10:34 Lawyer Martin Fenech, appearing for Vince Muscat, argues that witnesses that are "illegal" cannot be produced before the court Paul Cocks
10:31 Galea Farrugia from the AG's office points out that "this court is a court of criminal inquiry not judicature and should proceed with the collection of evidence in this case with expedience and independently of every other case, particularly this case where no constitutional reference was made" Paul Cocks
10:30 He again asks the court, formally, not to allow Bajada to testify Paul Cocks
10:30 Cuschieri responds: "I'm doing my job here. Everyone is looking at me with anger. Now I've had enough." Paul Cocks
10:29 "These are sui generis proceedings, you can't compare it to a debt case, where a constitutional reference halts the proceedings, Dr Cuschieri," the court tells the lawyer Paul Cocks
10:25 The court has had enough of the bickering and is sending the file back Paul Cocks
10:25 Philip Galea Farrugia from the Attorney General’s office states that all case law says that the court should not stop given that it is not deciding the merits of the case Paul Cocks
10:25 The court tells the lawyers that what they should have done is file an application, to which Cuschieri responds that there is no need and that he can present it with a note. Paul Cocks
10:25 The file of the constitutional case filed by the accused to prevent Bajada (the first expert) from testifying has been delivered to the magistrate Paul Cocks
10:16 Cutajar passes on their names, details and dimensions at the request of inspector Keith Arnaud Paul Cocks
10:16 But says there are four other models registered Paul Cocks
10:16 He says there were no vessels of the exact same model - Martinique 2800 - up until 2017 Paul Cocks
10:15 He says that from the information the directorate has, there are four other Martinique yachts like the Maya (George Degiorgio's yacht, from where it is believed he detonated the bomb that killed the journalist) Paul Cocks
10:12 Dr. Gordon Cutajar, assistant registrar of Merchant Shipping Directorate now takes the stand Paul Cocks
10:07 She presents a Maltese translation of Matthew Caruana Galizia's testimony Paul Cocks
10:07 Next to take the stand is lawyer Yanika Bugeja Paul Cocks
10:06 It is decided that the card will be sent abroad, to the UK or Germany, for analysis Paul Cocks
10:05 Bajada and Cuschieri are now discussing retrieving video data from a damaged Toshiba memory card, which Bajada has said is risky and could potentiall lead to the permanent loss of the data if unsuccessful. Paul Cocks
10:05 Despite objections from Alfred Degiorgio’s lawyer William Cuschieri, Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit says she has not received any court order to suspend Bajada’s testimony Paul Cocks
10:05 The three suspects had objected to IT expert Martin Bajada testifying but their request was rejected by a separate court Paul Cocks
09:59 His report is almost 1000 pages long Paul Cocks
09:57 First to testify this morning is a technical expert who will be presenting a report on Vodafone data related to the case. Paul Cocks
09:57 Good morning, the three men accused of murdering are back in court as the compilation of evidence against them continues Paul Cocks

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