One of the triggermen accused of carrying out the October 2017 assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia is on hunger strike, according to a family member.
Alfred Degiorgio, who is set to face trial over the murder, is claiming to be on hunger strike because he has not been given access to a lawyer of his choosing.
A prison source confirmed that Degiorgio is refusing food and a medical examination.
Degiorgio, and his brother George, last month decided to ditch their long-standing lawyer William Cuschieri.
Times of Malta reported this month how the brothers could represent themselves in an eventual trial, having failed to secure a new lawyer of their choosing to defend them.
They have instead been granted access to a legal aid lawyer.
The brothers, via Cuschieri, had been attempting to reach a plea deal with the Attorney General.
They faced life imprisonment if found guilty of the assassination.
Although the Degiorgios deny the charges in court, George Degiorgio sensationally admitted carrying out the hit during an interview on the Who Killed Daphne podcast.
He said during the interview that had he known who Caruana Galizia was, he would have asked for more money.
“If I knew, I would have gone for €10 million, not €150,000,” he said, in reference to the sum paid to him to murder the journalist. He later added: “of course I feel sorry”, in reference to the murder.
The Degiorgos have long accused the police of failing to hear out their claims over the involvement of other people in the journalist’s assassination.
Their attempts for a presidential pardon were rebuffed by cabinet.