The Caruana Galizia family will intervene in civil proceedings filed by Yorgen Fenech seeking to block certain questions in the ongoing murder compilation. 

The business tycoon, accused of complicity in the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, instituted proceedings by means of an urgent application filed last week, seeking to block questions in the ongoing murder compilation, about information given to investigators for the purpose of getting a presidential pardon.

That pardon was eventually denied and now Fenech’s lawyers are saying that if such questions are allowed, their client would suffer irremediable prejudice.

On Monday, Fenech’s lawyers objected to the intervention of the victim’s family in these proceedings.

But the First Hall, Civil Court, presided over by Madam Justice Anna Felice, turned down that objection, thus green lighting the intervention of the Caruana Galizia family in the suit.

The proceedings continued on Tuesday, with oral submissions on the granting of the interim measure.

This is a “do-or-die” situation, lawyer Charles Mercieca started off, explaining they were resorting to the constitutional court as “the last port of call,” and that the decision to do so had not been taken lightly but on account of the risks at play.

When first being interrogated, Fenech had spoken “confidentially” to the police, with the clear understanding that whatever was being said in those “informal discussions” would not be used against him in the criminal proceedings.

In fact, at that stage, conversations were not even recorded and Fenech was not cautioned, Mercieca explained.

Arnaud himself had testified that he “never gave evidence about the informal version,” the lawyer said, stressing that Fenech had been “misled.”

Allowing questioning about that information would breach his rights and hence the need for the interim measure.

Mercieca finally said that this was a particular case, closely followed by the media, “with minute-by-minute live feeds.”

Holding up a sheaf of papers, (copies of media reports over the past month) Mercieca argued that even if those reports were to be removed, it would be impossible to erase those stories from the “memory of people” who might one day be called to judge Fenech.

“This is an exceptional case, with wide coverage. It is being magnified beyond belief,” he concluded. 

However, those arguments were turned down by the court in a decree delivered on Thursday morning, minutes before the compilation is scheduled to resume.

Madam Justice Felice observed that the compilation was essentially intended to preserve all evidence, the admissibility of which could be subsequently contested and any evidence withdrawn accordingly. 

As for media effect, the court presiding over the compilation could always ban publication of any particular piece of evidence should it be deemed prejudicial to the judicial proceedings.

The request for the interim measure was thus denied.

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