FBI experts due to testify in Daphne Caruana Galizia murder case return home without entering court

A request by the defence counsel to cross-examine the experts was withdrawn two days ago, the court heard

Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed using a car bomb in October 2017
Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed using a car bomb in October 2017

Lawyers appearing for the men accused of murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia were harshly criticised in court this morning after the lawyers withdrew a request to cross examine FBI experts after they had already arrived in Malta.

The witnesses were due to testify under cross-examination during today’s sitting, having arrived in Malta at the start of the week.

However, they ended up waiting in the hall way after it transpired that the defence had withdrawn its request two days ago, once the experts were already in Malta.

Alfred and George Degiorgio together with Vincent Muscat stand accused of placing and detonating the bomb the killed Caruana Galizia outside their home in October 2017.

The magistrate noted that she could not force the defence to cross-examine the witnesses and gave the lawyers five days to decide on whether they wanted to cross-examine the experts.

Prosecutors, as well as lawyers appearing for the Caruana Galizia family insisted that the defence had acted in bad faith and was intentionally trying to delay proceedings.

However, defence lawyer Wiliam Cuschieri insisted that this was not the case, and stressed that both witnesses had still not left the US when the request was withdrawn.    

Cuschieri said the prosecution was trying to deny his client to right to consult his lawyer being the witnesses were cross-examined.

Earlier in the sitting, the court testimony of the owner of a rental car company who confirmed that Alfred Degiorgio had leased a car from him in the months before the murder. He said that Degiorgio had initially leased a larger car before asking for it to be replaced with a smaller one.  

The owner told the court he had no documents related to that transaction because he tended to burn paperwork "to erase data and prevent bank fraud". 

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