Three days after Daphne Caruana Galizia was murdered in Bidnija, body parts were recovered from a tree, a rescuer testified in court on Thursday.
Arthur Grech, who was stationed at the civil protection department’s depot in Xemxija, testified on the gruesome scene that awaited rescuers.
“We went to the scene and saw a car in the middle of a field. We went and put it out. After putting it out we saw that there was a person inside it. Later we found pieces of a body strewn here and there… On the 19 [October 2017] we were informed by the AFM that assistance was needed to retrieve pieces of the body from a tree,” Grech said.
He was testifying in the compilation of evidence against murder suspect Yorgen Fenech. The court denied a fresh request for bail by Fenech.
Caruana Galizia was murdered on 16 October 2017 just after leaving her house in Bidnija. A bomb placed inside her car was detonated remotely by an SMS.
Three men stand charged with executing the murder, while business magnate Yorgen Fenech is charged with being the mastermind.
Another CPD officer, Frederick Sammut, testified that upon arriving on the scene of the crime it was clear that there was nothing that could be done. “Near the car there was an arm and there was a person burning inside,” he said.
Harry Eddleston, another rescuer, described how the car was on fire in the middle of a field.
“As we walked towards it we found a lower leg on the ground,” he testified.
A Mosta couple, who live on the ridge opposite Bidnija testified how they had seen a small white car parked in their road on the day of the murder.
The car had been spotted in the area on a number of occasions at least a couple of months before the murder. After Caruana Galizia was assassinated, the car never appeared again.
The car, a rental, belonged to the three men charged with killing Caruana Galizia and who were using the ridge as a vantage point to spy on Caruana Galizia’s property and movements.
From previous court testimony, it transpires that two of the accused – Alfred Degiorgio and Vince Muscat – acted as spotters on the ridge, giving the third man, George Degiorgio, the signal to send the killer SMS that detonated the bomb.
In the previous sitting an eyewitness who saw Daphne Caruana Galizia’s car explode told the court of the horrific scene he saw on the day of the murder.
Fenech meanwhile was denied bail yet again by the court, with Magistrate Rachel Montebello ruling that the risk of approaching witnesses and third parties is still present and the police investigation has not yet concluded despite three years having passed.
The court said that it is not convinced that the accused would not flee Malta if granted bail. However, the magistrate said that the prosecution must bring its other witnesses forward without delay.
The case will continue on 18 March.
Magistrate Rachel Montebello is presiding.
Superintendent Keith Arnaud and Inspector Kurt Zahra are prosecuting, aided by Deputy Attorney General Philip Galea Farrugia.
Fenech’s defence lawyers are Marion Camilleri, Charles Mercieca and Gianluca Caruana Curran.
Lawyers Jason Azzopardi and Therese Comodini Cachia are appearing parte civile for the Caruana Galizia family.