Data analysed from one of Keith Schembri’s phones has no relevance to the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder investigation, the police commissioner has informed the courts.
On Monday, alleged murder conspirator Yorgen Fenech filed an application through his lawyers to be given access to data recovered from Schembri’s mobile phone, saying it contained essential information to back up his claims of innocence.
In a reply filed on Tuesday afternoon, the office of the Attorney General quotes police commissioner Angelo Gafà who confirmed that an ongoing magisterial inquiry had secured mobile phone data belonging to Schembri.
However, from the information analysed so far, there is nothing of any relevance to the 2017 homicide of the journalist, the reply says.
It describes Fenech’s request as vexatious, and intended to prolong the process with the aim of going on a “fishing expedition”.
The AG called on Fenech to prove his claim that the police have an extraction of Schembri’s entire phone data and that this contains information that can confirm his claims.
The application filed by Fenech forms part of constitutional proceedings seeking to have lead investigator superintendent Keith Arnaud kicked off the probe into the 2017 car bomb that killed Caruana Galizia outside her Bidnija home.
On June 2, the case was put off for judgment until November.
The court application filed by Fenech’s lawyers does not specify whether the data seized by the police pertains to a phone Schembri claimed to have "lost" before he was first arrested, or to another device.
He was arrested once again in September 2020, this time as part of a money laundering investigation, and again in March 2021. During these arrests he supplied investigators with another mobile phone device.
Prosecutors have since charged him with money laundering, criminal conspiracy, fraud and forgery.
Meanwhile, a magisterial inquiry looking into alleged leaks in the Caruana Galizia probe is also understood to have compiled detailed reports on mobile phone data which sources say includes a device used by Schembri.
In their court application, Fenech’s lawyers said that the seized data was believed to have been “lost forever” and was essential to prove their client’s claims. They argued that it was admissible as evidence, as it was not available when the evidence stage was wrapped up.
Lawyers Gianluca Caruana Curran, Charles Mercieca and Marion Camilleri signed the application. State Advocate lawyers Chris Soler and Maurizio Cordina signed the reply.
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