A Marsa bar owner who helped move money from one of his patrons to the three suspected hitmen in Daphne Caruana Galizia assassination has said he did so as a “favour” and insisted on receiving a receipt for the money from prison.
Joseph Brincat, owner of the Marsa White Stars bar, took the witness stand on Tuesday when Yorgen Fenech returned to court for another sitting in the compilation of evidence.
Fenech stands accused of complicity in the journalist’s murder. He is pleading not guilty.
On Monday, the court heard from another Marsa man, Lawrence Pace, who testified how he had been approached by Melvin Theuma to hand over sums of cash, on a regular basis, to a brother of George and Alfred Degiorgio following their arrest, alongside Vincent Muscat, during the December 2017 raids at the Marsa potato sheds.
Pace had explained how he would give that money to a bar owner who happened to be an old acquaintance of the Degiorgio family.
Brincat, the bar owner, today shed further light upon his role in the affair.
He recalled how Pace, il-Lolly, had once turned up at his bar, asking him to pass on money to Mario Degiorgio, a brother of the alleged hitmen.
Brincat agreed to do so, as long as he got a receipt from Mario proving that the cash had reached the intended destination.
And so, Pace had handed over the money once a week, for some five or six weeks, Brincat said, adding that he never counted more than €300 at a time.
On one occasion the sum was €200, he recalled.
The money transfers continued until Brincat decided to put a stop to it after Mario failed to give him a receipt for one of the payments, showing that the cash had been deposited at the Corradino Correctional Facility where the Degiorgio brothers and Muscat were being held.
Asked by prosecuting Superintendent Keith Arnaud for further details about his involvement, Brincat insisted that he had no idea where the money came from nor the reason behind such payments.
A Transport Malta official provided information about Fenech’s yacht, Gio, explaining that the vessel had been registered in the name of Carefree Navigation Limited and transferred to George Fenech in 2012.
It is currently registered in the name of Tumas Management Group Company Limited.
There was another boat registered in the name of Yorgen Fenech, the Kon Tiki II, which was transferred to him in 2003 from its previous owner.
The case continues next week.
Inspector Kurt Zahra also prosecuted, assisted by Deputy AG Philip Galea Farrugia.
Lawyers Gianluca Caruana Curran, Marion Camilleri and Charles Mercieca were defence counsel.
Lawyers Jason Azzopardi and Therese Comodini Cachia appeared parte civile.
Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.Support Us