Nearly 50 companies in which the business registry does not list alleged murder mastermind Yorgen Fenech as an involved party have been struck off the garnishee order issued by the court on the request of Daphne Caruana Galizia’s family.

The €5 million garnishee order was issued last month in connection with a claim for compensation filed by the Caruana Galizia family against the five men formally identified as having played a role in her murder.

These are Fenech, charged with being an accomplice; Alfred Degiorgio, his brother George and Vince Muscat, who were arrested in December 2017 and accused of having planned the murder and set off the bomb; and middleman Melvin Theuma, who was granted a presidential pardon to tell all he knows about the crime.

The Caruana Galizia family are seeking compensation for moral and material damages caused by the car bomb murder of the journalist in October 2017.

A garnishee order is a legal instrument creditors turn to when they are owed money.

They can either do it on the strength of a judgment or else, as in with this case, to safeguard the monies they claim they are due.

The court, presided over by Madam Justice Anna Felice, had issued the garnishee order against GEM Holdings, Tumas Energy, New Energy Supply, EGM Holdings as well as Electrogas.

However, the journalist’s family filed a counter-order in which they asked the court, this time presided by Mr Justice Grazio Mercieca, to exclude a long list of 49 companies from the garnishee order since Fenech is not listed as an “involved party”. The request was upheld by the court.

Those companies have now been excluded as have Dolmen Properties, Easysell Retailers, Tumas Gasan Holdings Limited and Tumas Investments, among many others.

Legal sources said the removal of the firms will not have any bearing on the actual claim for compensation but is something that would have otherwise entailed separate court applications by the individual companies each declaring that Fenech did not have a major stake and that they had none of his money. 

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