Family of slain journalist seeks Nadine Lia’s abstention from Yorgen Fenech case

Caruana Galizia family says Magistrate Nadine Lia should abstain from the case ‘for obvious reasons’

The family of murdered journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia have asked that Magistrate Nadine Lia abstain from presiding over the inquiry of alleged mastermind behind the murder, Yorgen Fenech.

In a court writ filed by Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi, Nationalist MP Therese Comodini Cachia and Eve Borg Costanzi, the family of the murdered journalist asked for the Lia to abstain or recuse herself from presiding over the case.

According to the family of the slain journalist, Nadine Lia must abstain herself from the case due to the magistrate’s father-in-law, Paul Lia, being the advocate of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, his office, and his former Chief of Staff, Keith Schembri.

The writ also made reference to Consuelo Scerii Herrera’s removal from the inquiry into the car bomb explosion, back in 2017, after the family had said that Scerri Herrera was a frequent target of criticism of Caruana Galizia, having taken the blogger to court for libel.

The applicants also made reference to the a more recent event, when magistrate Lia had abstained from presiding over the compilation of evidence regarding the Paqpaqli incident.

On that occasion, magistrate Lia had said that since she was “slightly acquainted socially with one of the accused” she was abstaining.

The letter also read that the applicants “humbly believed that in this case there was all the more reason for the presiding magistrate to abstain”, since the court has to decide within 30 days whether sufficient evidence for the accused to be put under a bill indictment.

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