Yorgen Fenech and his legal team have launched an urgent request for bail, insisting that any claims his release would create public disorder in Malta are a “complete fantasy”.
At the end of today’s court sitting against Fenech for the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, defence lawyer Charles Mericieca went on a fiery rant on how his client’s fundamental rights were being breached.
“We’ve been constantly hearing about the prosecution’s objection on the basis of a phantom fear of public disorder. Where is this public disorder? Let the prosecution prove this,” Mercieca told the court.
He said the burden of proof rested on the prosecution and not the defence and referenced the recent release on bail of the two men charged with murdering Lassana Cisse, as well as the case of Meinard Calleja, a convicted drug trafficker.
Long delays in the case, Mercieca said, should also merit Fenech’s release on bail. Fenech has been in police custody since his arrest at the back end of November 2019.
Mercieca also said that the AG’s delays to replying to the bail request should also be evidence that Fenech should be granted bail. Lawyers filed the application on 26th August. The AG had one day to reply. The reply was filed on 28th August.
Mercieca said there is no evidence that Fenech was going to escape from Malta – even if he was arrested aboard his yacht a little less than a week after state witness Melvin Theuma was arrested and granted a pardon for evidence in the murder.
“It’s comical to think he was going to escape on his boat,” Mercieca insisted.
He said that Fenech’s family were prepared to provide guarantees, while Fenech was ready to put police CCTV cameras outside his home and sign the policebail book every day.
The arguments from the prosecution and the decision of bail will be made tomorrow morning in a sitting at 12.30pm.
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