Four terabytes of data from Yorgen Fenech’s electronic devices have been presented to court, just over a year since he was arrested in connection with the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia.
Three Europol forensic examiners, Konstantinos Petru, Israel Gordillo Torres, and Giuseppe Totaro presented three identical hard drives in court today, containing a huge trove of data they had extracted from Fenech’s devices after his arrest.
All three experts had traveled to Malta in November 2019 and stayed here for a few days, based at a specially-assigned room at the police headquarters as they received Fenech’s devices, ranging from phones and laptops to security cameras, DVDs, and even a small Bluetooth device used to connect computers to keyboards.
None of them actually analysed the data itself and today’s sitting focused on the extraction process, which they codenamed ‘Operation Blue Elephant’, ostensibly a reference to Fenech’s popular Portomaso restaurant.
Magistrate Rachel Montebello instructed court IT expert Alvin Cardona to duplicate these hard drives three more times to ensure all the legal parties, as well as the magisterial inquiry, has access to them.
She banned the parties from publishing or distributing the data, apart from any information which emerges in open court. Failure to abide by this rule will amount to contempt of court.
The data includes private conversations with powerful people in Malta, including a WhatsApp chat Fenech shared with former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri, who Fenech has since implicated in the murder of Caruana Galizia.
Crucially, it’s expected to contain evidence of financial crime, with police confirming they opened at least eleven other investigations after analysing the data.