The Degiorgio brothers, who are being charged with the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, have requested Court authorisation to meet with MEPs Ana Gomes and David Casa in the presence of foreign media representatives.
This particular request was made today by lawyer William Cuschieri. Dr Cuschieri requested Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit to authorise this meeting between the accused and Gomes and Casa, in the presence of the international media.
Both prosecution and lawyers reacted with surprise to this request, describing it as extraordinary and not in line with the judicial process. Assistant Attorney General Philip Galea Farrugia said he was astonished at this request, adding that defence in general do not seek media attention. Dr Galea Farrugia further stated that the law provides a number of measures, adding that this case is subject to judicial process, whilst insisting that politicians, the media and third parties should not be included.
The lawyer for the Caruana Galizia family, Jason Azzopardi, stated that this request should be discussed behind closed doors. Dr Azzopardi expressed his fears that if what is stated during the meeting appears in the media, as is the duty of journalists, defence could argue at a later stage that accused’s rights have been breached.
Dr Cuschieri said he was not aware of his clients’ aim in requesting this meeting, adding that he had requested the Court’s authorisation. Dr Cuschieri further stated that it had not been the defence who had spoken with foreign Police officers about the laptop.
The court, Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit presiding, asked how it could be party to something which could breach rights. Meanwhile, prosecution and parte civile lawyers are to present their replies to this request by Monday.
Meanwhile, MEPs David Casa and Ana Gomes declared in a statement that politicians do not negotiate with persons being detained under arrest on suspicion of murder. They added that if the accused want to make some sort of confession, they should do this to the Magistrate, and if they wish to make a public statement, they can do so in Court by issuing a statement through their lawyer. Casa and Gomes reiterated that they cannot carry out the work of the Magistrate, or the Police and the Prosecution.