Some 400,000 documents making up 60 terabytes of data were seized in the course of the magisterial inquiry into suspected criminal activity at the now-shuttered Pilatus Bank.
Reference to this voluminous data was made during the compilation of evidence against former senior bank official Claude-Ann Sant Fournier who stands accused of aiding and abetting money laundering activities both in her personal capacity as well as in her former official capacity as money laundering reporting officer.
When the case resumed on Wednesday, lawyer Martin Bajada, appointed as court expert in that inquiry, gave a brief overview of the data seized from the bank.
He said some 100 boxes of physical documents had been scanned during the investigation carried out at the bank premises.
Other items, such as those retrieved from the bank safe and from third parties linked to the inquiry, were not scanned.
Bajada also made a forensic copy of data extracted from Sant Fournier’s personal mobile phone and tablet. The data was presented in court and made available to the parties.
In view of a request by the defence for a copy of all documentation gathered during the magisterial inquiry, Bajada explained that the process of extraction was a lengthy one.
Defence lawyers Stefano Filletti and Kathleen Calleja Grima asked the court whether the prosecution could point out those documents that were relevant to the proceedings, so as to speed up matters.
“Flooding a court case with over 400,000 documents and over 60 terabytes of data shows that no screening was done and this will unnecessarily lengthen the case,” argued Filletti.
Rather than identify the allegedly suspicious transactions and produce documents to support the charges, the prosecution was producing “every single piece of paper” found at the bank, they said.
Eventually the relevance of every document would have to be explained in court and unless the prosecution did that, the defence would ask for such explanation.
The case continues.
Inspectors Claire Borg and Pauline Bonello are prosecuting, assisted by AG lawyers Cinzia Azzopardi Alamango and Marthese Grech.
Lawyer Stefan Camilleri is assisting Fabio Axisa, PWC partner, appointed as competent person to represent Pilatus Bank.
Lawyers Stefano Filletti and Kathleen Calleja Grima are counsel to Sant Fournier.