Today, the compilation of evidence against the two lawyers, charged with bribing the journalist Ivan Martin continued. Magistrate Natasha Galea Sciberras ruled in favour of the defence and ordered the police to give a copy of the registered (taped) statement made by Ivan Martin.
In my blogs, I have always argued in favour of what in jurisprudence is known as the principle of disclosure.
Magistrate Natasha Galea Sciberras ruled that there was nothing at law that precluded the prosecution from disclosing the said statement. She even disagreed with the arguments put forward by the Attorney General, in defending the police’s rights not to disclose these tapes.
The office of the Attorney General sent a letter of objection, signed by one of its junior members. In this letter, the Advocate General opposed the request, ‘arguing that the statement was not a sworn statement and, therefore, could not qualify as admissible evidence in court’.
Rightly so, the Magistrate ruled that this statement by Ivan Martin was the fulcrum of the prosecution’s case and therefore, the defence has a right for such a declaration. This time round, the principle of disclosure has prevailed thus ensuring that there is a balance and a fair hearing in court.
The case continues next Wednesday, when Ivan Martin will be cross-examined by the defence lawyers.