Fenech family statement added at 12.35pm and Correctional Services statement at 5.05pm.

Yorgen Fenech is among a small group of prisoners on hunger strike at Corradino Correctional Facility.  

Sources told Times of Malta that Fenech had gone on strike for “humanitarian reasons” linked with over-crowding at Malta’s only prison. 

It is understood that Fenech, who stands accused of conspiracy in the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, is sharing sleeping quarters at CCF with six other prisoners and has complained that the conditions are too cramped. 

A successful hotel and casino owner, and one of the investors behind a new gas-fired power station, Fenech is one of the richest men on the island. 

He has been repeatedly refused bail and court proceedings have been delayed because of COVID-19 restrictions.

The Corradino Correctional Facility was first built in 1842.The Corradino Correctional Facility was first built in 1842.

Other inmates have also gone on strike in the prison in recent days, according to sources at the Home Affairs Ministry. 

They said that the “small division” hosting Fenech has seen a number of recent hunger strikes linked with concerns of over-crowding and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fenech family lament prison conditions

In a statement on Friday, the Fenech family said the accused had been held in a crowded room for the past months with a shared latrine, a shared one-foot by one-foot basin to be used for personal hygiene, cleaning of dishes, clothes and linen by other inmates, and not enough ventilation. 

The "degenerate situation" has now been made unbearable in the sweltering
40 degree summer, the family said.

"Inmates sick with diarrhoea and vomiting all penned up in the same cramped living space makes the situation unbearable. This, not even mentioning the worsening of living conditions due to COVID-19 in the prison facilities," the statement reads. 

The family also said that Fenech, who is allowed weekly family visits, had this right revoked on Friday morning.  

'My right to my mother was taken away'

In a post uploaded on Facebook, Daphne Caruana Galizia's son Matthew said his right to see his mother had been taken away when she was murdered.  

Back in May, a court found that Fenech’s rights had been breached through the coronavirus public health emergency order that brought court proceedings to a standstill. 

Fenech last left the prison walls on Thursday for his compilation of evidence sitting. His case continues on Tuesday.

In a statement on Friday afternoon, the correctional services agency confirmed that three prisoners had gone on hunger strike. 

The official reason given by the prisoners, the agency said, was that they did not want any more inmates in their sleeping quarters.  

These new inmates happened to be dark skinned, the agency said. 

The agency also explained that prisoner privileges were tied to their behaviour and adherence to the rules. 

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