Months before he was exposed as the owner of 17 Black, Yorgen Fenech told his wife in an email that “17 was one whole stress” and that “Electrogas was one huge mistake,” a court heard on Tuesday.

In fiery testimony that sparked several angry reactions from Fenech and his defence team, Matthew Caruana Galizia told a court how he and his murdered mother had gradually pieced together a puzzle they believed had Fenech as its centrepiece.

Emails showed how Fenech’s concerns tallied with what banks were asking of him, while others indicated that former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri – referred to as “Special K”, Caruana Galizia said, – was directly involved in the Electrogas power station project that his mother was investigating.

Fenech’s regretful email to his wife about the Electrogas project, dated August 2018, was found on a device seized as part of the murder investigation, Caruana Galizia said.

Leaked Electrogas documents

Daphne Caruana Galizia was working on a massive leak of documents from the power station consortium at the time of her murder in October 2017. Her son Matthew was collaborating with her and helped her set up secure IT systems, storing the data on an encrypted external hard drive for her.

The documents - more than 100,000 of them - were sent to her electronically by a source, he said.

Despite prodding by defence lawyers, Caruana Galizia insisted that his mother had never stored any of the leaked data on her laptop and was extremely careful about erasing digital traces.

Fenech stands accused of complicity in Caruana Galizia’s murder but denies the charges. Matthew Caruana Galizia was testifying on Tuesday in the compilation of evidence against him.

Daphne Caruana Galizia and her son Matthew.Daphne Caruana Galizia and her son Matthew.

Narrowing in on Fenech

He told a court that his mother was onto Fenech from early on, having name-dropped him in a comment she posted beneath an article she published in February 2017, in which she had revealed the existence of 17 Black.

Her focus had veered towards Fenech after she received a list of phone numbers that included his and Keith Schembri’s, he said. He presented notes of his mother’s, dated before April 2017, that mentioned the mogul and the Electrogas project.

'No Valletta, no party'

The business mogul had friends in high places and was part of a WhatsApp chat group with former deputy police commissioner Silvio Valletta that was called ‘No Valletta, no party’, Caruana Galizia said.

“They were friends,” he said.

Valletta was initially in charge of the Caruana Galizia murder investigation, until he was ordered off it by a court following a legal intervention by the Caruana Galizia family. Times of Malta subsequently revealed that he had holidayed with Fenech. 

Caruana Galizia said his mother had also warned him about another “completely untrustworthy” police officer, Ian Abdilla.

Abdilla led the police’s economic crimes division until June 2020.

'Konrad Mizzi went berserk'

In his testimony, Caruana Galizia presented several articles and blog posts written by his mother which he said had gradually stitched together the criminal picture.

One of the first was a cryptic blog post musing about Konrad and Sai Mizzi’s Easter Sunday lunch, which hinted at the former minister’s New Zealand trust.

“Konrad Mizzi went berserk,” after reading it, her sources inside government had told her.

Objections from the defence

After his mother was murdered, he had put together a team of journalists to continue her work and more information had come to light, he said.

Somebody had sent him photos of cheques made out to Fenech by a bank in the Gulf and journalists had subsequently exposed Fenech as 17 Black’s owner, as well as the Chinese owner of fellow offshore firm Macbridge.

Caruana Galizia’s testimony was punctuated by objections from Fenech’s defence team, who accused him of playing to the media gallery and reaching “gratuitous conclusions”.

His cross-examination was suspended and is expected to continue on August 12.

Europol testimony

Earlier in the hearing, the court heard from a Europol expert who was responsible for ensuring Maltese police correctly seized electronic evidence during searches following Fenech’s arrest in November 2019.

Sami Harmionen said he searched two apartments and two offices at Portomaso, with the most noteworthy discovery being an iMac computer that was still switched on and locked but not encrypted.

The Europol expert said he was also asked by his superior to deliver one of the seized devices, an Iphone S, to Europol offices in The Hague.

The case resumes on Monday, August 2.


Live blog ends

3pm Yorgen Fenech is escorted out of the courtroom. Proceedings are done for today. 

This live blog will end here. We will have a summary of the key points of testimony available at the top of this article shortly. 

Thank you for having joined us.


Next sitting on August 2

2.56pm The next sitting in this case will be on August 2, between 10am and 2pm - that's next Monday. 

Matthew Caruana Galizia will face further cross-examination 10 days after that, on August 12. 

Cross-examination suspended

2.47pm Caruana Galizia is done testifying for the day. His cross-examination is suspended. He steps off the stand and takes a seat in court. 

The magistrate runs through the list of witnesses still to testify. Mercieca also points out that the defence has filed an application. We don’t know what it concerns. 

'Of course I didn't use her laptop'

2.45pm Caruana Galizia says a copy of the data was kept on a network storage device and other copies have been given to other journalists, in case something happened to him. 

“The external hard drive is linked to a computer and of course I didn’t use my mother’s computer,” he says. 

“Why ‘of course’?” asks Mercieca.

"We’re talking about thousands of documents. I wouldn’t use my mother’s computer which she was working on,” he replies.

'So she used a laptop?'

2.40pm Mercieca: “So she accessed documents through her laptop.”

Caruana Galizia: “No, the opposite. I never emailed any of this data to my mother. She didn’t understand enough about technology to handle such a volume of data. And the hard disk I had was encrypted. So if I lost it, anyone finding it would just see garbage.”

Mercieca: But where was the data that you helped your mother handle, stored?

Caruana Galizia: “On a hard disk which I encrypted.”

The magistrate interjects. She wants to know what the point of the defence’s questions are and warns them not to try and find out more about the source.

“There are allegations that the laptop was destroyed,” Mercieca replies. “We need to know where this information that he presented came from.”

100,000 leaked documents on a hard drive

2.35pm Jason Azzopardi asks the witness how large the Electrogas leak was. “It must have been around 100,000 documents,” he replies. He says his mother had printed some of the documents out, “but I’d rather not talk about…”

“No no,” Mercieca interjects. “You talk about what we say you are to talk about.” 

Caruana Galizia confirms that the documents were received electronically. The majority were stored on an external hard drive he bought. 

Things get heated 

2.31pm Caruana Galizia continues where he left off.

“He was convicted of drug possession. We knew he was behaving erratically before and after the murder. My mother would have considered this humongous. Having a key director on Electrogas…

This time Yorgen Fenech interrupts, along with his lawyers. 

But the witness continues. 

“My mother had formed an opinion that he was central in the Electrogas deal. Based on the evidence we saw. Messages between Konrad Mizzi and Yorgen Fenech showed the relationship between the two. These are relevant because I wouldn’t want someone to stop an investigation by killing the journalist…”

Yorgen Fenech has had enough. “Oh come on,” he exclaims. 

His lawyer Charles Mercieca joins in. 

“These are gratuitous conclusions. Why don’t you present the laptop rather than selected messages!”

Caruana Galizia remains calm. 

“If a message has a kiss, it’s a kiss. I can’t lie about it.”

 Caught with drugs in the US

2.28pm After his mother’s death, they threw a huge amount of effort into identifying 17 Black’s owner. The result was the November 2018 revelation that it belonged to Fenech. 

Caruana Galizia says they kept digging, and found out that Fenech had been “convicted of drug possession in the US”.

Defence lawyer Charles Mercieca objects.

“That’s the truth,” lawyer Jason Azzopardi says.

“Go say it in parliament! You are hiding the truth!” Mercieca shouts across the table. 

Changing 17 Black's address

2.25pm He cites a company resolution for 17 Black to change its registered address, featuring space for Yorgen Fenech’s signature. This came days after his mother had published another blog post, in February. 

A train on tracks

2.20pm Caruana Galizia reads from another email which he says Fenech sent to Chris Mifsud at Electrogas about concerns that the allegations would hurt him and Tumas Group, and going on about suing David Casa and Manuel Delia.

“We were like a train and if someone had to stop that train, they had to blow it off the tracks,” he says.

That analogy sparks angry objections from the defence team and Fenech himself.

Caruana Galizia: “We were working on documents like a puzzle. Emails from the banks said that their concern was due diligence. And emails from Yorgen Fenech showed that his concern was due diligence.

“We felt that things were coming together,” he says. 

Fenech's regretful email to his wife 

2.16pm Caruana Galizia cites an email dated August 22, 2018, which Yorgen Fenech sent his wife. “17, that was one whole stress… Electrogas, it was one huge mistake,” he reads.

The email was extracted from one of the devices seized and presented in this case.

Yorgen Fenech was revealed to be the owner of 17 Black, by Times of Malta and Reuters, several months later, in November of that year. 

The Electrogas power station in Delimara. Photo: Matthew MirabelliThe Electrogas power station in Delimara. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Cheques in the Gulf 

2.12pm Caruana Galizia says that after his mother’s murder, he was contacted by somebody who sent him photos of a bank manager’s cheques issued to Yorgen Fenech from a bank in the Gulf.

Defence lawyer Charles Mercieca interrupts to object that the document presented mentions ‘KS’ and that the witness is concluding this was ‘Keith Schembri’.

Caruana Galizia: “My mother didn’t have a pocket diary like some teenager, writing down hopes and dreams. I spoke to my mother. I cannot go back in time but I can perhaps show you a note she wrote. I don’t always have a note, unfortunately. When I do, I present it.”

Liasing with 'Special K' 

2.09pm His mother wrote another post about the Prime Minister, saying that he said he did not know anything about 17 Black. Then another one about a leaked FIAU report mentioning 17 Black.

On the same day in May 2017, she published a follow-up report about kickbacks for Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi.  Caruana Galizia hands over each paper as he testifies, and then presents two emails his mother and he looked at, which helped them determine what was going on at Electrogas.

In them, [Electrogas project coordinator] Michael Kunz asked Yorgen to liaise with Keith Schembri, referring to him as “Special K”.

Closer focus on Yorgen Fenech 

2.05pm His mother continued to publish and spoke about how Keith Schembri did not turn up for a court sitting. She wrote that “money movements indicated that company belonged to one of them.”

Matthew Caruana Galizia: “We had already identified Yorgen Fenech as a key person in the investigation. My mother and I considered him to be a member of this clique that mother was writing about. We didn’t conjure this out of thin air, but based our opinion on the documents, emails we were seeing.”

His mother focused more and more on Yorgen Fenech. 

'Konrad Mizzi went berserk' 

2pm The witness recalls how his mother had published a post about Konrad and Sai Mizzi’s Easter lunch on February 22, 2016, before the Panama Papers were published.

[The blog post hinted that she knew about Mizzi’s New Zealand trust]

“I spoke to her and she told me that after publication, ‘people in government were hysterical and Konrad Mizzi went berserk.’ Those were her words.”

She then published a blog post about 17 Black [exactly one year later]. Under that post was a comment about a conversation with Mizzi, and his mother had then mentioned Yorgen Fenech.

Ian Abdilla and Silvio Valletta

1.54pm  Caruana Galizia recalls his mother warning him that superintendent Ian Abdilla was “completely untrustworthy” as he was an associate of a person she was investigating.

He also mentions [former deputy commissioner] Silvio Valletta.

“Yorgen Fenech was in a WhatsApp group called ‘No Valletta, no party’ and Valletta was in that group. They were friends, exchanged messages and so on.”

Never too careful 

1.51pm He says his mother and himself never spoke about these things on an open phone line and he would make frequent trips to Malta to work with her, or continue on it when she took a break.

But she was cautious about security, never saving things on Google Docs and asking recipients to delete messages or emails after receiving them.

“She knew it was too risky to keep notes. She knew that the people she was investigating had a huge amount of influence to punish sources.”

Fenech’s lawyers object to that.

'Trouble brewing at Electrogas'

1.49pm After the general election, his mother published a blog post titled “Trouble brews at Electrogas.”

That was an important article and needed to be published as soon as possible, he says, though they were holding onto data for a big splash. 

“If mother hadn’t been murdered, all those articles would have been published. They were published after the murder. Journalists working on her work added new information. She would probably have been able to do that herself.” 

Macbridge and 17 Black 

1.47pm Caruana Galizia notes that since he last testified, Reuters and Times of Malta revealed who owned secret company Macbridge. 

He and his mother had known for a while that Yorgen Fenech owned 17 Black, he says. He reads from a conversation he and his mother had following the Panama Papers, which he says was reproduced in the media verbatim. 

“She asked me ‘Matt I’m concerned about two companies crucial to unravel the web…If you can confirm …then it would help to protect the source.”

His mother had received information about 17 Black and Macbridge and was asking questions about them before anyone else, he says. 

Presenting notes 

1.41pm Matthew Caruana Galizia presents some notes of his mother’s as evidence. They are dated before April 2017, when she published a report about some of the data. One states “Yorgen phone call”. Another refers to letters rogatory with “Electrogas” written beneath that. 

Focusing on Yorgen Fenech 

1.38pm  “My mother was a reporter in the traditional sense, calling people, asking questions, writing reports. I used my technical skills and helped her where she considered herself to be unskilled.

“That’s how we began to focus on Yorgen Fenech. She was given a list of phone numbers. It featured Keith Schembri and Yorgen Fenech. We confirmed this.”

Matthew Caruana Galizia refers to a note written by his mother, but is interrupted by defence lawyer Charles Mercieca, who insists the witness has already testified about this. 

Meanwhile, Yorgen Fenech stares straight ahead. 

Yorgen Fenech (centre) walks into court with two of his lawyers, Camilleri and Caruana Curran, in November 2019. Photo: Mark Zammit CordinaYorgen Fenech (centre) walks into court with two of his lawyers, Camilleri and Caruana Curran, in November 2019. Photo: Mark Zammit Cordina

Starting the Daphne Project 

1.35pm If the pressure was intense at the time, it became even more unbearable after her murder. 

“I wasn’t in a position to continue the work my mother had started. So my family and I decided to rope in a team of investigative journalists whom we trusted.

“I didn’t want the murderer to achieve his goal, to stop the work my mother had started. So we started the Daphne Project.”

'Something so big, we decided to wait'

1.33pm Daphne had something big, he says. 

“So big, that we decided to wait. It deserved a lot of planning and analysis and we didn’t want it to get lost in the pre-election chaos.

“We knew the source was at risk and didn’t want to endanger them. So we kept it to as few people as possible. It was only after the murder that I passed information on to others. I also made backup copies, so that if anything happened to me the information wouldn’t be lost.”

Huge volumes of leaked Electrogas paperwork

1.30pm Inspector Zahra asks him about his mother’s work. Caruana Galizia says that his work on the Panama Papers tied into what his mother was doing here in Malta. 

“She was working on Electrogas and was suspicious from the start. One of my colleagues was investigating one of the directors, Socar, and everything was aligning. 

“My mother was under a lot of pressure and was facing threats and defamation suits,” he says. 

He recalls learning about all the information she had available. 

“I took a trip to Malta and we sat down to see her documents. She told me she had a source who was passing her many important documents from Electrogas.

“The source was sending such a large volume of documentation that each document opened different threads. This was not somebody seeking revenge for getting fired or anything like that.

“My mother started liaising digitally with this source. She didn’t know how to set up systems and so on, so I was helping her with that."

Presenting his credentials 

1.23pm He runs through his resume – he has a background in technology and a masters degree in financial journalism, and previously worked in Costa Rica as well as on international investigations into offshore companies – Swiss Leaks, Lux Leaks as well as the Panama and Paradise Papers. 

“They all involved tremendous work by the team and we all got to know that subject matter extremely well,” he says. 

Matthew Caruana Galizia testifies

1.18pm It’s the second time Matthew Caruana Galizia has testified in this case. He currently serves as director of the Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation and previously worked at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. 

Court in session

1.13pm The magistrate returns to the courtroom and the hearing can resume. 

Back in court

1.10pm Yorgen Fenech is brought back to court, and his lawyers are here too. The prosecution is present, as are members of the Caruana Galizia family. The hearing should resume any minute now. 

Court calls 20-minute break

12.43pm The prosecution says the next witness will take quite some time. 

The court therefore calls a 20-minute recess. 

Topping up George Degiorgio's phone

12.40pm A GO salesman, Miguel Caruana, testifies. [Caruana has testified in the past, in the compilation of evidence against the Degiorgios and Vince Muscat, and is the man who sent a top-up to George Degiorgio on the day of the murder.]

He reiterates what he said in that case: that he knew George Degiorgio from fishing in Marsa and that Degiorgio had asked him for a mobile top-up on the day of the murder. It was a Vodafone top up and he bought it from a bazaar in Tarxien.

“I bought it just before closing time, scratched the voucher and sent him the top-up via phone.”

He had George Degiorgio’s number saved in his phone, he says in answer to a question. It was saved as 'George' with the logo of a crown [kuruna].

“You have that along with a lot of other items you still haven’t given me back, including things belonging to my children,” he tells the inspector. 

Boats owned by the Degiorgios

12.31pm A Transport Malta representative testifies. He is asked about boats registered in the Degiorgios’ names. They each had one vessel to their name, he says, as he provides their registration details. 

Another TM employee also testifies. He’s a manager at the small ship registry. He tells the court that George Degiorgio had registered a vessel – a small recreational boat - between 1999 and April 2017. 

Renting a car to Alfred Degiorgio

12.28pm The next witness is a man named Raymond Schembri, who tells the court he used to run car hire companies but stopped doing so two years ago. 

He had rented a car to Alfred Degiorgio – a Hyundai i10. Degiorgio had a large car and wanted a small one. Schembri can’t remember the exact year, though he thinks it was 2016. 

“He had a Peugeot 407, then got a smaller car. He said it was hard to find parking for the larger one. 

He says Degiorgio had received a parking ticket and told him about it. 

Schembri recalls “an old man with a cap” accompanying Degiorgio, but he did not know who he was. Around the 10th of the month (though he doesn’t remember which month), Degiorgio had taken the car back.

 He is asked whether he has lease documents, but says he does not. “Once payments are settled, those documents are burnt to avoid credit card numbers and so on getting into the hands of third parties. 

File carving the recordings 

12.20pm Mercieca asks Cardona about the two external hard drives he worked on. They were two external hard drives.

Cardona says that he checked each one to make sure that all was as it should be. He gives an explanation about a system known as ‘carving.’ 

[File carving is the process of trying to recover files that are missing filesystem metadata].

Mercieca: “So you mean that these recordings were cancelled?” 

Cardona: “What I can say is that I found them on the system known as carving.” 

That’s all from him. 

Court expert presents recordings

12.12pm Court expert Alvin Cardona is the next witness. Cardona worked on recordings presented as evidence – there were around 81 of them. 

He says that he could not find one recording that was listed. Perhaps the number of recordings was misquoted, he says. 

Cardona presents a report explaining his process and the recordings, along with a DVD. 

Harmionen ends his testimony

12.09pm Some laughs in the courtroom and Harmoinen’s testimony comes to an end.

 'I saw them speaking outside'. 'Not true!' 

12.07pm Mercieca claims he saw Harmionen outside the courtroom, talking to Matthew Caruana Galizia.  

“Not true!” says Jason Azzopardi. 

“We saw them!” the defence team reply. 

The magistrate asks the witness whether it’s true.

Harmionen: “I have no idea who he is.” 

But the defence won’t let up. “He was talking to Dr Azzopardi too!”

The magistrate asks Harmionen whether he knows Jason Azzopardi.

Harmionen: “Ah, now I recognise him. I was just being polite. We were saying how hot it is in the lobby.” 

Europol was roped into the Caruana Galizia investigation from the start. Photo: ShutterstockEuropol was roped into the Caruana Galizia investigation from the start. Photo: Shutterstock

Repeat questions 

12.03pm Harmionen recalls speaking to two inspectors named “Kevin and Chris” about seized phones. 

The magistrate asks him whether he verified that they had followed his instructions. Harmionen confirms that he did. 

Mercieca asks why he gave the phones to his Europol colleagues. 

The line of questioning begins to grate.

“Why are you asking the same questions?” the magistrate asks Mercieca.

“It’s the third time I’ve explained,” the witness tells him. 

Handing over evidence 

11.54am Mercieca: Maltese officers were already at the scene. So there is no way of knowing what happened before your arrival? 

Harmionen: No.

Mercieca: How come you seized them [the phones] yourself? 

Harmionen: I didn’t seize evidence. It was given to me by Maltese authorities. My manager instructed me to hand it to Toma. 

Mercieca: Were you aware that Toma was not authorised by a Maltese court? 

Harmionen: No, I wasn’t. I received my instructions over the phone, from a superior. 

Mercieca: Did you take down notes to record that? 

Harmionen: No I didn’t. 

Mercieca: Did you use a special bag to carry the exhibits? 

Harmionen: I doubt there was mention of a Faraday bag. But it's standard procedure and I had one to transport special devices. 

Identifying phones

11.49am Mercieca: “Apart from the phones you handed over to Toma, did you deliver anything else to Yulia [Toma]? In her notes she identified one phone as belonging to the businessman and the other to the captain.”

Harmoinen: The devices were seized during searches of the boat and house. Maltese authorities pointed out to me that one belonged to the businessman and the other to the captain.

[Mercieca had also questioned Toma about this in a previous sitting

Witness came to Malta for another case

11.45am As Mercieca picks on the witness’ testimony – “were seizure forms filled in, or did you do so?”, “how do you know he was an inspector?” – Yorgen Fenech sits and listens with his legs crossed and hands on his knees. 

Harmoinen then says that he had come to Malta for another investigation not related to the murder.

Scribbled notes

11.38am Mercieca picks on a handwritten note – it states “iMac” – at the bottom of a document. 

Harmionen says he wrote it, this morning, to help him identify the relevant exhibit. 

“The iMac was seized from Portomaso and handed to me. I then delivered it to my colleague Giuseppe Totoro at the police station,” he says. Mercieca asks about some other scribbles on the documents. The witness says he also wrote those, for his own reference.

Mercieca: "What was so special about this iMac that you wrote this note today?" 

Harmionen: "It was the only computer that was on." 

Reiterating his role 

11.31am Mercieca asks the witness about his previous experience. Harmoinen runs through his resume, then reiterates his role in this particular case: to assist Maltese police in identifying evidence and the way in which to seize it, as well as to handle encryption tasks. 

Defence begins questioning

11.24am Defence lawyer Charles Mercieca takes over questioning. He asks Harmoinen to show the court some papers that he was referring to as he answered the prosecution’s questions. 

“They’re just my notes,” he says as he does so. 

Harmoinen says he prepared the notes this morning. They are presented as evidence into the case. 

Delivering phone to The Hague

11.22am  Harmoinen says he also delivered a phone to The Hague. It was an iPhone S with an unsealed SIM card that needed to be unlocked. The experts did not have the necessary equipment to do so in Malta, so he says he made a small incision into the bag it was sealed in, to insert a charging cable and ensure it did not run out of charge. 

His instructions came from his boss, who headed the forensic lab. 

When he flew to Amsterdam, he went straight to Europol offices at The Hague and handed the exhibits directly to his colleague Yulia Toma [who testified in January]. 

Lawyers in court

11.17am As the witness continues to testify about paperwork, other participants enter the courtroom: Fenech’s lawyer Marion Camilleri enters, as does deputy attorney general Philip Galea Farrugia. 

Confirming signatures

11.13am Harmoinen is shown paperwork concerning the exhibits, and confirms his signature and dates on them.  

As one document after another is passed to the witness, the magistrate speeds up the process. There's quite a long list of exhibits that were passed on to the Europol experts. 

Europol team in Malta 

11.08am Inspector Kurt Zahra asks the witness who handed over the exhibits. Harmoinen says Maltese police did so, and that there are receipts for each one. 

He worked from a room accessible only by Europol experts. Devices were locked in there, with phones kept on flight mode and computers properly shut down. 

After all the searches were completed, three of Harmoinen’s colleagues arrived in Malta. [We’ve heard testimony from them previously – Torres, Petrou and Totato]. 

Searching four locations 

11.03am He scoured four different locations: two apartments, one of them at Portomaso, and two officers at the Portomaso business tower on different levels. Maltese police had already searched the areas. They found a computer, wrapped in plastic seal and two mobiles.

At the apartment, he found the iMac that he previously mentioned. There were no computers at the level 4 office in the business tower. There were also no computers at the level 21 office, though other devices were seized. 

What was the expert responsible for? 

10.57am Harmoinen tells the court that he was appointed in November 2019 as an expert in the Caruana Galizia murder case, by magistrate [now judge] Neville Camilleri. 

His role was to help Maltese authorities with searches and instructed on electronic evidence to be seized – things like mobile phones and computers. He made sure that devices were secure and their data was safe. 

Harmoinen tells the court that they seized a computer – an iMac- at Portomaso that was locked but not encrypted. He was there when it was found. 

Europol expert testifies

10.53am Europol expert Sami Harmoinen is the next witness. 

He tells the court that he has been a police officer since 2003 and a forensic expert since 2009. 

Proceedings begin

10.51am Yorgen Fenech is escorted into court. He taps his mother on the shoulder as he walks past her and takes his seat. 

The first witness is Maria Dolores Fenech, the criminal courts’ registrar. She presents a CD and a transcript of its contents, and steps off the witness stand. We don’t know what’s on the CD.

...or maybe not

10.47am It's a false start. There's another, separate case to be heard first. 

It's a brief one, though, with no further evidence to present. The case is deferred and the magistrate can proceed. 

Court in session...

10.45am The magistrate emerges from her chambers and the day's hearing can begin. 

Waiting in court

10.30am Magistrate Montebello is currently hearing another case. 

Two of Caruana Galizia’s sons, Matthew and Andrew, are both in court. So too are all three of her sisters.

On Fenech’s side, we’ve spotted his wife and his mother among those in attendance, along with other relatives and friends.

Who are the main players?

10.22am Yorgen Fenech: the businessman accused of complicity in Caruana Galizia's murder;

Melvin Theuma: the self-confessed middleman in the murder;

Vince Muscat: a confessed hitman in the murder who says Alfred and George Degiorgio were also involved.

Keith Arnaud, Kurt Zahra: the lead police investigators;

Rachel Montebello: the presiding magistrate;

Gianluca Caruana Curran, Marion Camilleri, Charles Mercieca: the lawyers appearing on Fenech’s behalf;

Jason Azzopardi, Therese Comodini Cachia: the lawyers appearing for the Caruana Galizia family.

Anthony Vella: representing the AG’s office and assisting the prosecution.


10.15am Good morning and welcome to this live blog. We're at the Valletta law courts - in hall 20 - and expect today's court session to begin at 10.30am.

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