WATCH: Four men charged with two murders – what happened last night in Court?
On Wednesday, the Court urgently opened at 11pm for the Police to arraign four people on various charges, namely of being accomplices in the murder of lawyer Dr Carmel Chircop in 2015 and the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia two years later. Using the largest Court room, the accused were seated at a social distance of two metres from each other and the other people present.
George Degiorgio, 58, who has already been charged with the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, was charged along with Jamie Vella, 37, with the murder of Dr Carmel Chircop and of carrying a weapon without licence.
Adrian Agius, 42, was charged with being an accomplice in the murder of Dr Chircop by commissioning the other two accused men to kill him. The Police also charged him with the possession of 350 grams of heroin which were found in circumstances which showed they were not for his personal use.
His brother, Robert Agius, 37, together with Jamie Vella were charged with being accomplices in the murder of Mrs Caruana Galizia, which included building the bomb used in the murder and of putting together weapons which were going to be used to kill the journalist.
Jamie Vella, who was wearing protective clothing in Court because he is positive for Covid-19, together with brothers Adrian and Robert Agius, pleaded not guilty to the charges. George Degiorgio’s lawyer told the Court that his client, although present in Court, would not be replying to any questions. In cases such as this the Court considers this as a no guilty plea by the accused.
The Prosecution led by Supt Keith Arnaud, explained that the arrest of the accused took place following the sitting on Tuesday afternoon during which Vince Muscat admitted to his involvement in the murder of Mrs Caruana Galizia and testified in a magisterial inquiry where he gave information leading to these arrests, and which also resulted in him receiving a pardon.
At this stage, the defence did not ask for bail while the Prosecution asked for the assets of the accused to be frozen. The Court, presided over by Magistrate Victor Axiak, accepted this request and also ordered an investigation into all the assets of the accused.
Present in the court room were Daphne Caruana Galizia’s husband, Peter and his son Matthew as well as the journalists’ sisters. The accused were escorted out of the Court building under strict security and taken to the Corradino Correctional Facility.
UPDATED (3): Agius brothers and Jamie Vella plead not guilty to charges brought against them – Degiorgio chooses not to reply
Who are the three suspects alleged to have provided the bomb that killed Daphne Caruana Galizia?