Public discussions about the ongoing murder case against Yorgen Fenech should come to an end, the magistrate in charge of proceedings against the murder suspect has insisted.
Magistrate Rachel Montebello issued a decree during a sitting yesterday after the murder suspect’s lawyers warned that certain reports and statements on the case are impinging on their client’s right to innocence until proven guilty.
“There shouldn’t be public debates and discussions about the ongoing criminal case and its outcome, or any public statements that in any way describe or specifically refer to the accused as being guilty of the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia,” she said.
“Following recommendations by the European Courts, it should only be the media, and not private individuals, who report on the procedures so as to avoid prejudiced and inaccurate reports as much as possible.”
She said she was issuing this decree in light of the frequent coverage and discussion on the case “which generally shines a negative light on anything related to the accused”, and this in view of safeguarding his right to presumption of innocence.
Fenech was charged with conspiring to assassinate Daphne Caruana Galizia in November 2019 and the compilation of evidence process has been dragging out till then, with no indication that he will face trial in the near future.
As it stands, there won’t be a single sitting next month, with the next stage of the compilation of evidence period scheduled for 2nd February.