Yesterday, the Media of the Catholic Church in Malta declared that the Court decreed that the advocate appearing as parte civile for the Caruana Galizia’s family was right to state that Yorgen Fenech is guilty. Yorgen Fenech is currently undergoing a drawn-out court proceeding for the compilation of evidence. The compilation of evidence has not yet been concluded. One of my readers reacted asking how can a person be kept in prison while the prosecution is dragging its feet in order to conclude producing witnesses. The article is the following:
A year on from the arrest of Yorgen Fenech, in a flurry of accusations amidst the promise of incontrovertible evidence in the form of the recordings, and after a whole year where the court and police have participated in an extended and lengthy process of the compilation of evidence, there needs to be a revised perspective of the case. The hard evidence the tapes were purported to contain did not materialise. On the contrary, further evidence was brought forward by the prosecution to throw serious doubt on the legitimacy of these recordings, on the credibility of the main witness, on the circumstances under which the Presidential pardon was granted and a number of matters have emerged which appear to somewhat dilute the picture given at the time of the arrest. The compilation of evidence is being drawn out and there appears to be no end in sight, no doubt, another contrived manoeuvre from those who are on the opposing side. Let us revisit the salient points of the present circumstances.
One important matter that needs to be considered is the disappearance of Melvin Theuma, granted a Presidential pardon notwithstanding the crimes which he appears to have committed – which extend to money being exchanged in order to secure the pardon and which in turn enabled him to offer the tapes as controversial evidence against Yorgen Fenech. Melvin Theuma appeared in a number of court sittings to testify against the accused before he attempted to harm himself. There cannot be any speculation about the reason why he has done this. To speculate in this matter would be to join the deplorable behaviour of those both private individuals and those with access to the media, who wildly and unfoundedly claimed that it was someone else who did this to Mr Theuma, rather than it being self-inflicted.
What is clear is that the event has stalled matters in court. The time it has taken to appoint a professional to assess the mental health of Theuma before he is deemed fit to appear in court again has stalled proceedings. In the meantime, it is ASSUMED that he is unable to appear in court – because the defence appears to have no way of obtaining answers that are concrete in connection to this. Let us agree to concede Theuma the right to recuperate – and how quickly this right was given to this person who is known to the police for a number of crimes. There also arises the question about whether the police have followed up the matter and have verified that it is indeed the case that Theuma finds it impossible to proceed. And doesn’t it occur to those who so zealously guard over the ‘Rule of Law’ that in allowing this period of shall we say grace, the witness can regain the composure, that it was clear he was losing, needed to lie under oath and continue giving false and incomplete evidence? When it is their own skin people are protecting, it would be safe to say that lying under oath does not appear to be the cardinal sin it is usually considered to be.
In granting Theuma the possibility of absenting himself from the court proceedings, when he presented himself as the pivotal witness in these pre-trial proceedings, it is quite perplexing that the powers who agreed to this absence, do not have that ideal of justice they so enthusiastically uphold as a default setting to lead them to say that as long as Theuma is incapacitated, Fenech should not be detained. These are pre-trial proceedings – the element of guilt is still being proved.
Further absurdities about the case exist. It is unfair that the compilation of evidence has no end date. The sittings are interminably drawn out from one to the other. The witnesses that still have to be called on behalf of the prosecution are not named.
A number of individuals have been allowed to influence public opinion to such an extent that the fairness of the trial appears to be jeopardized. A whole system has been mobilized to influence public opinion, to leak sensitive and private information, to misrepresent facts, to lie, ignoring the harm caused to private individuals who fall victim to this cross-fire and the hatred stoked by assertions in the media. That is why there is the influence of public opinion – it is this they are hoping for, a blind hatred and outcry that in its hysteria will not cold-bloodedly consider the bare, unadorned facts.
Another question that needs to be asked is this – how much of the case against Yorgen Fenech is the result of political intrigue and interference? It seems safe to say that if a friendliness or sympathy exists between the police representatives and the prosecution or other persons of interest in the trial proceedings, the accused cannot be ascertained of fairness. In fact, there has not been a single prosecution of anyone whose name has been mentioned in connection to the murder or the trail. It seems that even the manufacture of lethal explosives has become accepted now. Even from a lay person’s point of view, there seem to be a number of inconsistencies. When the pre-trail proceedings appear to have lost momentum, when the original case against Yorgen Fenech appears to have changed somewhat, when the motivation of branding Yorgen Fenech as guilty can also be seen to stem from the thirst of monetary compensation, why is Yorgen Fenech still being detained? Can we be sure that in the scramble to fight this case in the most righteous way possible, the courts are not being held hostage? Even in this case, the public has to retain a belief in the judiciary, a belief that they can rise above the insidious influence of the media, above the calculated and unceasing personal attacks, engineered to create a dislike and prejudice in meting out justice to the accused, above the deeply inculcated political affiliations and the disdain towards others of a different political colour, a belief that in the end should be borne out by the actions of the court.