Retired judge will also examine Daphne Caruana Galizia's laptop for death threats

The court turns down the defence's request for Daphne Caruana Galizia's entire website to be examined but widens the remit of the retired judge to also examine her laptop alongside Whatsapp messages for threats

Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit has appointed former judge Michael Mallia to examine WhatsApp messages the late journalist received as well as her laptop but not the website she used
Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit has appointed former judge Michael Mallia to examine WhatsApp messages the late journalist received as well as her laptop but not the website she used

The court gathering evidence against the men accused with the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia has extended the remit of a retired judge tasked to examine her WhatsApp messages for any threats.

The remit has now been widened to include Caruana Galizia's laptop. But the court blocked a request by the defence for the examination of the late journalist's entire website.

In a decree handed down this morning, Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit ruled that the defendant’s request for the examination of the website was not necessary as it was exhibited in the acts of the case and was public.

This emerged during the compilation of evidence against brothers George and Alfred Degiorgio and Vincent Muscat last Wednesday, after defence counsel William Cuschieri asked that the victim’s laptops and website be analysed for threatening messages.

Retired judge Michael Mallia had previously been appointed to examine the murdered journalist’s WhatsApp messages, but during the last sitting was requested by the defence to examine a laptop exhibited in the records of the case as well as the victim’s blog “Running Commentary.”

The request was fiercely opposed by the prosecution, with Inspector Keith Arnaud pointing out that the website ran into thousands of pages, which had been left untouched since the murder. The information was also in the public domain and had already been exhibited, he said.

There were no other laptops besides those already exhibited in the case, he said.

Parte civile lawyer Jason Azzopardi questioned the necessity of analysing the website. “Do we need a retired judge to do this?” he asked.

The court extended the remit of former judge Mallia to examine her laptops for threats, but turned down the request for the examination of her entire website, saying that it was in the public domain and was already in the records of the case.

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