WATCH: ‘Il-Fulu’, ‘iċ-Ċiniż’ and ‘l-Koħħu’ plead not guilty to murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia
Accused plead not guilty
Alfred Degiorgio known as “il-Fulu”, 53 and his brother George Degiorgio (“iċ-Ċiniż), 55 – both of whom live in St Paul’s Bay, as well as Vince Muscat known as”il-Koħħu”, 55, from Msida, were arraigned in Court on Tuesday evening charged with the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia by means of a car bomb in Bidnija on 16 October. They were arraigned one day after a delicate joint operation was carried out between the Police, the Armed Forces and the Secret Services.
The three men escorted to jail
Appearing in front of Magistrate Neville Camilleri, the three accused pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against them by Inspectors Keith Arnaud and Kurt Zahra, and were remanded in custody. The charges which the three men are facing are that of associating with people, Maltese or foreign, in order to carry out this murder. No request for bail was made, and the three accused were escorted to the Corradino Correctional Facility.
It was shortly before 10pm when the three accused were taken from the lock-up at the Police Headquarters in Floriana, and taken under maximum security to Valletta under heavily armed Police escort, where they entered the Court room through the back door.
Present in the Court room, apart from a large number of Police officers, there was Daphne Caruana Galizia’s husband, Dr Peter Caruana Galizia, who indicated to the Court that he was appearing as the lawyer on behalf of his family, together with Dr Jason Azzopardi and Dr Therese Comodini Cachia.
Three accused assisted by legal aid lawyer
The Court has appointed Dr Benjamin Valenzia as their legal aid after the three accused asked for the assistance of a lawyer. The three accused contested the arrest saying that they had not been given an arrest warrant within 36 hours following their arrest.
However, Inspector Keith Arnaud said that when they were arrested in Marsa at 8.15am on Monday morning, they were informed that they were under arrest and were also informed that they were arrested according to a warrant for the murder of Daphne Carujana Galiza. Inspector Arnaud said that the three accused were found in the same tent. The Court confirmed that the arrests were valid.
See the footage of the accused being arraigned in Court here:
In a statement made earlier, the Police said that the other people who were arrested during Monday’s operation will be given police bail, according to the laws of the country. Yesterday, the Police together with the Armed Forces began an operation at 4am in the areas which had been under surveillance over the last few weeks.
The Police explained that the operation was carried out in various places at the same time, especially in Marsa, Zebbug, St Paul’s Bay, Msida and Mosta. During the operation, the Police went to several other places where extensive searches were carried out and from where further evidence was lifted which should help them in their case.
It added that the FBI, Europol and the National Investigations Bureau of Finland, all provided important assistance to Malta’s Police Force, which led to the arrests of the people who will be arraigned in connection with the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.
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