Yorgen Fenech's lawyers have claimed that by allowing questions on anything the businessman told police before he was denied a presidential pardon, would prejudice his rights.

The business tycoon, accused of complicity in the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, filed an urgent application, claiming that the decree delivered by the magistrate presiding over the murder compilation, could breach his right to a fair hearing. 

That decree, delivered during last week’s murder sitting, allowed prosecuting officers Keith Arnaud and Kurt Zahra, as well as former commissioner Lawrence Cutajar, to testify about everything Fenech had told investigators about the murder, and that lawyers for the Caruana Galizia family could ask questions accordingly.

Now Fenech’s lawyers are arguing that information supplied by Fenech for the purpose of the pardon, was not to be used against him in criminal proceedings. 

Allowing that would cause the accused irremediable prejudice, said the lawyers.

Nor would it suffice for the State Advocate, as respondent in the application, to argue that such information could be removed from the records of the case at a later stage.

This case was attracting widespread media coverage “in great detail” and reports were “almost verbatim”, the lawyers pointed out.

That meant that those who would eventually be selected as jurors at Fenech’s trial, would be influenced by such reports, even if any information were to be removed from the court records at a later stage. 

Fenech thus called for an interim measure to stop the prosecuting officers from testifying about such information, given by him for the purpose of seeking a presidential pardon and when he had not yet been cautioned. 

Lawyers Gianluca Caruana Curran, Marion Camilleri and Charles Mercieca signed the application. 

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