Police officers investigating the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia visited Europol headquarters in The Hague twice over the past couple of months to help analysts with transcripts of evidence, the case’s lead investigator testified on Wednesday. 

Keith Arnaud, a former inspector who was promoted to superintendent last month, said that local expertise was needed as the transcripts were in Maltese.  

Arnaud was testifying in a public inquiry into Caruana Galizia’s murder.

He said that the police investigation into the case is continuing apace, with Europol still involved.

Analysing the new data would take “weeks”, he added. 

Arnaud testified in public for just under 30 minutes, with the rest of his testimony continuing behind closed doors. It was his second appearance as a witness in the inquiry. 

He told the board that data which Europol experts extracted and analysed from devices seized as part of the murder case would be presented in the case against suspect Yorgen Fenech in the coming days. 

The data – and there was “quite a bit” of it, Arnaud said - will include emails and voice recordings.

Part of the challenge was that a lot of it is in Maltese, which meant Europol analysts needed local expertise to interpret it, the witness said. 

Arnaud told the inquiry that police were combing through all the data, even parts which seemed unrelated to the murder case or suspects in it. In some instances, the data indicated potential financial crimes, he added. 

The inquiry resumes on Friday, November 27, when former minister Konrad Mizzi is expected to testify. 

 


As it happened

That's all for today 

9.57am Arnaud is the only witness due to testify today, and the rest of his testimony is being held in private. That's all for today - this live blog will end here. 

Thank you for having joined us. 

Reminder - the compilation of evidence against Yorgen Fenech continues tomorrow [Thursday] at 10am. We will be providing you with updates from that crucial case as they happen. 


Konrad Mizzi's non-committal reply

9.55am Before journalists leave, the secretary of the board informs judges that she emailed Konrad Mizzi to inform him that he will be summoned to testify this Friday. 

The former minister [and now independent MP] "acknowledged receipt of the email" and left it at that, the secretary says. 


Session continues behind closed doors

9.53am The board of inquiry asks journalists to leave the room. Arnaud will be continuing his testimony in private.


Murder motive 

9.52am Judge Said Pullicino notes that Arnaud’s boss, police commissioner Angelo Gafa’, told the board of inquiry that the murder motive remains unclear

“Yes, for sure,” Arnaud says. “We are checking everything because there could be something which, though not strictly related to the murder, could prove useful.” 


'We are checking everything' 

9.50am  Judge Said Pullicino asks about communication between politicians and business people. 

Arnaud says that investigators are looking into “everything” – not just data which concerns people who are currently under arrest. 

Apart from the homicide aspect of investigations, there is a financial crime side to the analysis, he says. 


Lost in translation 

9.47am Local police are coordinating with Europol when it comes to data analysis as there is a language barrier, Arnaud says. 

Maltese has to be translated and the translations explained. 

The problem is that there is quite a bit [mhux ftit] of data to analyse, he says. 
“That’s why it takes months.” 

The board of inquiry ask whether there is data which could interest them. 

“There could be,” he replies. “There is so much evidence that there is likely to be some that will be of help to the board.” 


Europol experts to present evidence

9.43pm Arnaud tells the inquiry that experts from the EU law enforcement agency are expected to present devices (computers, mobiles and so on) and data extracted from them in the compilation of evidence against murder accused Yorgen Fenech "in the coming days". 

The data will include emails and voice recordings. 


Investigation ongoing

9.40am Arnaud tells the inquiry that the investigation continues at the same pace as previously. The task force set up to investigate the murder case still meets and there are now more officers from the police's financial crime division involved. 

Europol are also still involved, Arnaud confirms in reply to a question. 

Arnaud said that officers went there [The Hague] twice over the past couple of months, to help analysts with transcripts of evidence.


Arnaud promoted

9.39am We described Keith Arnaud as a police inspector earlier. But he received a promotion last month and is now a superintendent, he tells the inquiry. 

The board of inquiry congratulate him. 

"Well merited," one remarks. 


Inquiry session begins

9.36am The doors to hall 20 are opened and the protagonists allowed inside.  It's all set for Arnaud to star his testimony. 


Welcome

9.30am Good morning and welcome to this live blog. We're outside hall 20 of the Valletta law courts, where the Caruana Galizia public inquiry is scheduled to continue today. 

The day's star witness, inspector Keith Arnaud, is waiting outside the courtroom. So too are lawyers representing the Caruana Galizia family. 

 

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