An IT expert on Friday presented copies of the audio recordings made by middleman Melvin Theuma of conversations with Yorgen Fenech, charged with complicity in the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. 

The recordings have proved a veritable headache for court officials, tasked with transcribing the conversations which are crucial to the middleman’s testimony, both in the compilation of evidence against Fenech as well as in similar proceedings against the three alleged hitmen. 

Alleged murderers brothers George and Alfred Degiorgio, together with Vincent Muscat, were escorted back to court for a brief hearing during which the expert presented enhanced copies of the recordings.

He explained that the optimisation process “drastically improved,” the quality of the audio, eliminating background noise such as engine running and birds chirping, without removing vocal sounds which could prove relevant to the case. 

Some 133 recordings had been optimised, the expert said, adding that the others did not require such “cleaning”.

Asked by parte civile lawyer Jason Azzopardi about the improvement achieved, the expert said that the conversation was clearer and more had emerged than the previously exhibited version. 

The court, presided over by magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit, decreed that the enhanced recordings could be exhibited in Fenech’s compilation, continuing on Monday, since the adjustments had been made manually and another attempt might not give identical results. 

The court also appointed three transcribers to carry out transcripts of the recordings. 

The case continues on June 25, for transcripts to be exhibited.

Lawyers Marc Sant is counsel to Muscat, while William Cuschieri is counsel to the Degiorgios. Deputy Attorney General Philip Galea Farrugia is assisting the prosecution led by inspector Keith Arnaud.  Lawyer Jason Azzopardi appeared parte civile.

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