A court which must decide whether inspector Keith Arnaud should be removed from the Caruana Galizia murder investigation will take testimonies given over the summer in that case into consideration, it ruled on Wednesday.

The decision means testimonies given by former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri, doctor Adrian Vella, former police chief Lawrence Cutajar and others in the compilation of evidence against Yorgen Fenech can be included in the constitutional case to have Arnaud removed.

It is a legal victory for Fenech’s defence team, which had sought earlier this month to have those testimonies, given in the compilation of evidence against Fenech, included in this case. The court, the lawyers had argued, could not act in a vacuum and disregard testimonies given in a separate case.

Fenech stands accused of complicity in the murder of Caruana Galizia. Arnaud is the lead investigator and prosecutor in that case.

Fenech claims Arnaud was leaking information about his murder case to Keith Schembri, the former OPM chief of staff who Fenech says was a key player in Caruana Galizia's assassination. Arnaud denies that claim. 

The court was due to rule on Fenech's request this month after wrapping up proceedings last March. But it convened earlier this month after Fenech's legal team asked for the court to consider the testimony of people who have since been summoned in Fenech's murder case.

Mr Justice Lawrence Mintoff, who is presiding over that case, said on Wednesday that Fenech’s lawyers had three weeks to file their written submissions based on those testimonies.

The court registrar must also file an application to have the testimonies from the murder case included in the constitutional case against Arnaud. Those testimonies will be filed in a sealed envelope, accessible only by the parties in the case.

A lawyer representing the state advocate told the court that it did not expect to cross-examine any of the witnesses whose testimonies are to be included.

Lawyer Charles Mercieca, representing Fenech, told the court that some of those witnesses may have perjured themselves. The court minuted that point and the judge may raise it when delivering judgement. 

The case was adjourned to November 6 for final submissions.

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