Lawyers representing Yorgen Fenech this morning questioned Matthew Caruana Galizia, the son of the late journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, about a data leak from Electrogas, suggesting some form of involvement on the part of the journalist.
Daphne Caruana Galizia had received a massive tranche of data from the power station which she was investigating at the time of her assassination.
Fenech has been charged with masterminding the plot to murder the journalist. He denies the charges against him. Matthew Caruana Galizia was cross-examined by lawyer Charles Mercieca as the compilation of evidence against Fenech continued today.
Mercieca started by asking Caruana Galizia to state the number of investigations both he and his mother were working on in 2017. Caruana Galizia replied that it was difficult for him to give a precise number of investigations given the “fluid nature of the work”.
He added that it was all the more difficult for him to answer the question with respect to his mother, given that he was only aware of the most important stories she was working on.
The lawyer pointed to a list of stories and individuals believed to have been of interest which the family had given to investigators in the months following the assassination.
Caruana Galizia asked to know whether his mother was working on her investigations with any other journalists, to which he replied that she was working with journalists from the Times of Malta as well as the Australian Financial Review.
‘Keywords that caused the Electrogas leak’
The questioning then shifted to the Electrogas leak. Caruana Galizia has stated his belief that the motive of the murder was the gas-fired power station the company built and which it still operates.
He told the court that at least three people were aware of it and the ongoing investigation into Electrogas.
Mercieca put several questions to Caruana Galizia about the manner in which the leaked data was shared with the late journalist.
Caruana Galizia confirmed that the data had been received by email, but insisted that going into specifics about the manner in which it was received would risk exposing the source’s identity.
Caruana Galizia was also asked whether he was working with the individual who “stole the data” and whether he had provided them with “keywords to the source to cause the leak”.
He refused to answer, telling the court that he had a “sense of duty towards [his] mother and like her would not want to do anything to endanger sources”.
The sitting was interrupted on several occasions, with both prosecution and the family’s own lawyers objecting to the line of questioning.
Caruana Galizia did confirm that his mother had met the source at some point in 2017, before they started passing on the data.
Asked whether there were any threatening emails sent by Fenech, Caruana Galizia said that while he did not have access to all Fenech’s emails, there appeared to be no threats in the leaked emails.
‘Keith Arnaud is a hero’
The defence’s questioning then turned to whether or not Caruana Galizia had handed over a hard drive with information from the leak to the police.
He said that he had not, pointing out that, at the time, former deputy commissioner Silvio Valletta, who has since been outed as a friend of Fenech’s, was still a part of the investigation.
Asked whether he trusted lead investigator Superintendent Keith Arnaud, Caruana Galizia replied in the affirmative.
“To me, Arnaud is a hero. He is the one bringing the people who murdered my mother to justice,” he said.
Arnaud has been accused of being close to Keith Schembri by Fenech’s defence. Constitutional proceedings are underway in which Fenech is seeking to have Arnaud removed from the case for this reason.
Mercieca replied by asking why then Caruana Galizia had not passed the devices on to him.
“At the time Arnaud was subordinate to officers who were friends of Yorgen Fenech,” he replied.
Upon further questioning about whether or not certain pieces of information were handed over to the police, Caruana Galizia said that whenever something new had come up, the police would be informed about it, though this did not mean that all of his mother’s notes and clippings were dumped on the police.
Kenneth from Castille chooses to remain silent
Earlier in the sitting, Kenneth Camilleri took the witness stand but refused to answer any of the prosecution’s questions.
Camilleri, who has come to be known as Kenneth from Castille throughout the proceedings, had been named by Melvin Theuma as one of the individuals who had been sent to calm his nerves by former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri when Theuma was getting anxious about his role in the murder, before his arrest.
Camilleri was a member of former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s security detail and an associate of Keith Schembri’s
Camilleri did however respond to questions put to him by Fenech’s defence, telling the court that he had nothing to do with Fenech, Theuma and the Degiorgio brothers charged with carrying out the murder.
He told the court that he had testified in the public inquiry but did not answer a series of questions about the nature of his testimony, including whether it was held behind closed doors in order to protect someone.
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