Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit will be presiding on the third attempt to start the compilation of evidence against the three men accused of executing the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. Maybe this is the right time.

We live in hope.

One will expect the lawyers for the accused to remind Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit that Daphne Caruana Galizia once commented on her husband’s resignation from the MEPA. It’s a real stretch of the notion of conflict of interest. Actually to say it like it is, it is an absurd perversion of the notion of conflict of interest. But we’ve seen a lot of stretching going on the last few days so I would not be surprised if she’s also asked to recuse herself.

Of course this can’t go on for ever and Magistrate Stafrace Zammit might well be the one to put a stop to it. Her predecessors in this drama could have and maybe should have. But they haven’t and the matter has been passed on.

At some point the principle of necessity will require some Magistrate to hear the evidence, no matter what conflict of interest, real or perceived, they are accused of.

The 30 day limit for a decision whether there is sufficient prima facie evidence to indict the three men expires in 17 days. The Magistrate may ask for two extensions of two 30 day periods for that deadline, so in theory the compilation of evidence might last another 77 days before a decision to indict is taken.

Let us hope tomorrow at last is the day this starts.