Saturday, 30 November 2019, 18:00 Last update: about 8 hours ago
Businessman Yorgen Fenech tonight pleaded not guilty to being an accomplice in the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.
Fenech, 38, did not request bail, with the defence requesting the right to make this request at a later stage in the proceedings.
Magistrate Audrey Demicoli remanded Fenech into custody, and he was later taken to the Corradino prison.
The court also ordered the freezing of Fenech’s assets other than an amount for his personal use.
Fenech was charged with promoting, organising or financing a criminal association with the intention of committing criminal offences; with actively participating in criminal association; with being complicit in the voluntary murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia; with associating with persons in Malta or abroad with the intention committing a crime.
The court has also been asked to freeze all moveable and immovable assets pertaining to the accused, and to prohibit the accused from transferring or disposing of any such assets..
Photos Domenic Aquilina, Videos Alenka Falzon
8.20pm: Sitting is over.
8.19pm: The defence did not request bail but reserved the right to make the request at a later stage.
8.17pm: The prosecution is presenting the accused’s passport and four credit cards – two BOV Visa cards, an American Express card and a Mastercard. The course freezes the accused’s assets except for a minimum amount as required by law.
8.14pm: The defence is contesting the request to freeze the assets, saying that the assets have been in the family for a long time. The prosecution is arguing that at present it is requesting just the freezing, not confiscation.
8.12pm Defence lawyer Caruana Curran asks inspector Arnaud whether Keith Schembri formed part of the police investigation. The court orders inspector Arnaud not to reply to the questions.
8.11pm. Fenech pleads not guilty.
8.10pm: Fenech is charged that, on 16 October 2017, he organised or financed a crime, was accomplice in the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, being an accomplice with third persons to use explosives that caused an explosion that killed the journalist. The prosecution is also requesting the freezing of Fenech’s assets.
8.08pm: Validity of arrest is not being contested by the defence, but they have some questions.
8.07pm: Magistrate Audrey Demicoli enters the courtroom.
8.04pm: Daphne caruana Galizia’s husband Peter is also in the courtroom.
8.03pm: Nadia Attard and Philip Galea Farrugia are representing the AG’s office, Inspectors Keith Arnaud and Kurt Zahra the police, while Fenech will be represented by lawyers Marion Camilleri and Gianluca Caruana Curran. Jason azzopardi and Therese Comodini Cachia are representing the Caruana Galizia family.
8.02pm: Yorgen Fenech enters the courtroom.
7.58pm: Van carrying Yorgen Fenech arrives at the law courts building.
7.48pm: Daphne Caruana Galizia’s sons have arrived in the courtroom.
7.35pm: Members of the Caruana Galizia family are attending the sitting, including her parents and her three sisters.
7.20pm: The main doors of the law courts building were opened just after 7.20pm, with media rushing in to the courtroom.
7pm: There is a heavy police presence in the area of the law courts.
Fenech was arrested by the police on 20 November while he was on a yacht departing from Malta, off the coast of Pembroke.
He has since been kept either under arrest or released on police bail.
His request for a presidential pardon was turned down twice, the first time by PM Joseph Muscat and the second time by the Cabinet. He made a third request to President George Vella