UPDATED: Compilation of evidence against Agius brothers, Jamie Vella and George Degiorgio continues this morning
The compilation of evidence against Adrian Agius, Robert Agius, George Degiorgio and Jamie Vella continues this morning in front of Caroline Farrugia Frendo.
They are being charged with being involved in the murder of Dr Carmel Chircop in 2015 and Daphne Caruana Galizia in 2017.
11:51 Inspector Shawn Pawney recounted how Adrian Agius had been arrested at Baħrija when he had presented Agius with an arrest warrant issued by a Magistrate in view of the latter’s alleged involvement in the murder of lawyer Carmel Chircop.
The Inspector added that various items of interest were found in the car, including 3,460 euro in cash, a packet containing a suspicious substance, three mobile phones, and other documents. During the Adrian Agius search at Mellieha, the Police recovered two laptops, four hard drives, mobile phones, Vodafone start packs and top-up cards. The Inspector added that Adrian Agius had not replied to any question when interrogated.
Inspector Wayne Camilleri testified about the items recovered during intensive searches in Adrian Agius’s vehicle and villa at Mellieħa. The Inspector explained that they had recovered bags with suspicious substances, various credit cards, and an iron safe embedded in the bedroom wall, and when asked about the key to the safe, Adrian Agius had replied it belonged to the owner, and it would be better if it were to be taken out of the wall and removed. Inspector Camilleri added that the safe taken yesterday from the home of Adrian Agius had been opened yesterday by the Police in the presence of Court experts, and contained various documents which are being analysed.
11:29 The Magistrate declared that whilst the sitting had been suspended, she had been informed by the Deputy Court Registrar that it had been a fifth-year law course student about whom Dr Jason Azzopardi had commented. “If you had included this note in the examination, I would have failed you.” The issue related to the decree handed down by the Court earlier today following a request by parte civile for a cross-examination of witness presented by the prosecution.
Magistrate Caroline Farrugia Frendo declared that the Court deplores the behaviour of Dr Jason Azzopardi and will be informing the Commissioner for the Administration of Justice, whilst also declaring this persistent behaviour by Dr Azzopardi had continued although the Court had warned him earlier that he should comport himself properly as an Officer of the Court.
10:42 The next witness is John Bugeja who said that he has known Robert Agius ‘tal-Maksar’ for about ten years, after he met him on a catamaran from Sicily when the witness said he began importing detergents and selling them in Malta.
Mr Bugeja said that he had rented a garage from Robert Agius in Magħtab where he stocked detergents however around one and half years later his business failed because he claimed he was robbed.
Bugeja said he went into business with Agius who sold him two trailers filled with products for the sum of €96,000, of which Bugeja said he still had something small left to pay off.
Supt Arnaud showed a photo of a garage to Bugeja and a garage in Mosta which he had leased for Robert Agius. He rented the garage from a relative of Giovann Camilleri who was killed by a car bomb in Bugibba in October 2016. Bugeja said he had leased the garage for €700 for two years. Bugeja said that he as soon as he got the keys to the garage, he handed them over immediately to Robert Agius with whom he had an obligation because he owed him €96,000. John Bugeja said that the Mosta garage was leased in his name because Robert Agius told him that he would be using it to garage a car. The witness said that two years later Robert Agius gave the keys of the garage back to the owner whom he met up with in Bugibba.
10:06 The witness said that he has been going to the bar in Marsa for around 50 years. During the identification parade which took place two weeks ago at the Police HQ in the presence of Magistrate Neville Camilleri, the witness was not able to identify suspect Jamie Vella. He met with Vella last October, who offered him €1,500 a month to convince his relative to tell her husband Vince Muscat not to mention Robert Agius.
09:43 Magistrate Caroline Farrugia Frendo had to decide whether the lawyers representing the parte civile could cross-examine the witness presented by the Prosecution. This was after defence lawyers Dr Alfred Abela and Dr William Cuschieri objected.
The Magistrate referred to the criminal code and upheld the request of the parte civile for Dr Jason Azzopardi to cross examine the witness whose names and that of others cannot be mentioned according to a decree issued by the same Magistrate earlier today.
09:28 The witness said that the Police recently came to speak to him about one of the accused, Jamie Vella, who last October had entered the Rocks Bar in Marsa while he was having a coffee. The witness said that a certain Jamie Vella asked him to come outside to talk about Vince Muscat ‘il-koħħu’.
The witness said that once outside, Jamie Vella gave a signal to another man, Robert Agius who was waiting on the pavement on the other side of the road. The witness said that Jamie Vella asked him to convince his relative to tell her husband Vince Muscat not to mention them, and for this they were ready to pay €1,500 per month, €750 each. The witness said that he had immediately told them that his relative was not going to accept these things and in fact when he told her she was not interested. Jamie Vella went back to the bar in Marsa four days later and the witness informed him that his relative had not accepted. The witness said that he had never seen the two men Jamie Vella and Robert Agius before, and did not recognise them.
09:12 As soon as Supt Arnaud finished testifying, a disagreement broke out between Dr Marc Sant who is appearing for Vince Muscat, Dr Alfred Abela who is appearing for one of the accused, so that the names which the witness was going to mention are not published by the media.
Following the request by the witness and after hearing the objection of the defence and while the prosecution parte civile did not object, the Magistrate decided that in the interests of the safety of the people who may be mentioned in his testimony, the media was asked to step outside of the courtroom and not to report the name of the witness and the people he would be mentioning in his testimony
08:54 Supt Keith Arnaud took the witness stand again, this time to present various notes and evidence related to the detailed testimony he provided yesterday.