Caruana Galizia murder suspects claim leaked CoE report breaches presumption of innocence

Lawyers representing two of the men accused of murdering the journalist have pointed to a leaked draft Council of Europe report as having breached their presumption of innocence

Two of the men accused of the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia have filed a judicial protest this morning, after a draft report by the Council of Europe was reported as stating as a fact that they had placed the fatal device inside the car, ignoring the presumption of innocence.

The judicial protest, one of several filed by Alfred and George Degiorgio on various grounds since their arrest together with Vincent Muscat in December 2017, calls on the Attorney General to prevent “interference by third parties” in court processes.

The two men stand accused of, together with Vince Muscat, placing and detonating the bomb that killed Daphne Caruana Galizia as she was leaving her home in October 2017.

The Degiorgio’s lawyer, William Cuschieri, is arguing that “the entire process has been accelerated in an unprecedented manner” after the Prime Minister had publicly said he expected the compilation of evidence to be “efficient”, on the day of the men’s arrests.

Moreover, reads the protest, media reports said that the Council of Europe had drafted a report on the Caruana Galizia murder which said that “those who placed the bomb in Daphne Caruana Galizia’s car have not yet been indicted and if this doesn’t happen very soon, they will have to be released…”

This amounted to a breach of the presumption of innocence, argued the lawyer, as well as a “serious interference in judicial institutions which should be independent and impartial.”

The judicial protest urges the AG to “immediately take the necessary measures to stop the interference by third parties which should be extraneous to the judicial process,” or face further legal action.

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