There will be no bail for the man charged with the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia with a court on Thursday saying his release could give rise to public disorder.
Yorgen Fenech's second request for bail was turned down by Magistrate Rachel Montebello at the end of a marathon compilation of evidence on Thursday during which secret recordings were aired.
His lawyers argued that Fenech has a clean criminal record, had been granted police bail more than once before his arraignment and has always abided by imposed conditions.
"The evidence so far seems to be based on Melvin Theuma's testimony. His testimony shows he is lying," lawyer Gianluca Caruana Curran said.
The lawyer insisted that there was no proof that Fenech made a bid to escape.
Deputy Attorney General Philip Galea Azzopardi said the lawyer is trying to argue for bail by attacking the credibility of a witness and warned the country would face severe problems if Fenech was granted bail.
The prime minister and his chief of staff had to resign over this case. And meanwhile, my client continues to suffer, kept in jail
Dr Caruana Curran interjected:"Our country has never faced a worse situation. The prime minister and his chief of staff had to resign over this case. And meanwhile, my client continues to suffer, kept in jail."
His comment sparked protests from Daphne Caruana Galizia's sisters who are promptly hushed by the magistrate.
In her decree, the magistrate said the accused was right in saying that bail is a right, and that preventive arrest was an exception.
The prosecution must prove that there would be dangers if bail is granted. Court has the right to impose conditions when granting bail.
The magistrate said circumstances had remained unchanged since the first refusal and the fear of tampering with evidence still subsisted.
More so, from what has been testified so far, it appears that other persons were mentioned and still have to be summoned to testify.
Bail at this stage could also give rise to public disorder and that argument is still applicable today, the magistrate said.
Fenech was initially denied bail on December 23, just weeks after he had been arraigned in connection with the murder.
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