A lawyer defending two brothers in the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder case has refused to say how he is getting paid for their extensive defence despite the fact his clients have had their assets frozen. 

Alfred and George Degiorgio are facing an asset freeze as a result of separate money-laundering charges.

Dr Cuschieri refused a total of seven times to elaborate on how he was getting paid by the Degiorgios when asked by Times of Malta outside the law courts.

Investigators have been looking into a money trail received by the family of the Degiorgio brothers after the two men were left with limited financial resources.  

Defence lawyer William Cuschieri asked by Times of Malta how his clients Alfred and George Degiorgio are paying him.

It is believed that this money trail could lead to those further up the chain from the Degiorgios and fellow suspect Vince Muscat, who are accused of murdering Daphne Caruana Galizia in a car bomb in October 2017.

Dr Cuschieri said he was legally precluded from answering any such questions. 

As well as representing his clients in the compilation of evidence, Dr Cuschieri has opened 13 cases contesting various aspects of the investigation and judicial process against the brothers, each of which come at a cost. 

In a court hearing on Friday, deputy Attorney General Philip Galea Farrugia said Dr Cuschieri had sent an FBI report to an American company that was a complete outsider to the proceedings, in breach of the law. 

Parte civil lawyer Jason Azzopardi claimed such companies charge "hundreds of thousands" to carry out such work, raising questions as to who was funding this given the asset freeze.

Dr Cuschieri declined to explain. 

The court, presided over by Madam Justice Edwina Grima, said that it was for the prosecution to report the matter to the police. 

The Degiorgios lavish lifestyle prior to the murder charges has been laid bare in the separate money-laundering case. 

Both unemployed brothers were found to own high-value assets, including luxury cars and a pleasure boat.

Dr Cuschieri also refused to comment when asked if he knew who had masterminded the assassination.

Times of Malta reported last month that a major businessman is one of the key suspects in the bomb plot.