Yorgen Fenech’s trial has been delayed so that a report written by Europol investigators a few months after Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder is entered into the records of the case. The defence has the right to all evidence, even, and especially if, it exculpates the accused. This report does no such thing.
It makes a list of people who, in the opinion of the investigators, could be candidates for the murder. It is the beginning of a Guess Who? game when all the faces are still up and the clues haven’t pointed yet to the bearded red head with rimmed glasses, eliminating all the other candidates. It is a line-up of usual and unusual suspects before the evidence turns up the real murderer.
Daphne had a long list of candidates of people who hated her. She had a long list of candidates of people who would benefit from her death. But wishing someone to die or benefiting from someone’s death, though despicable, are not in themselves the crime that a murder trial prosecutes. What matters is who went ahead and killed her.
Some fuss was made yesterday when the answer of the author of the report to a question put to him by Yorgen Fenech’s lawyer was, “no, Yorgen Fenech was not named in the list of people we suspected at first”. Yeah. That doesn’t mean he didn’t do it, does it?
Just because he didn’t openly threaten the victim he is alleged to have murdered, it does not mean he did not murder her. The evidence against him in the case is there in what the witness is saying and what the accused is heard saying on the tapes. The fact that the witness and the tapes came through after an initial report was written, is completely irrelevant.
The minute we heard Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed we started thinking of who it might have been. Together with colleagues I wrote a book called Murder on the Malta Express trying to answer the question Who Killed Daphne Caruana Galizia? and coming up with multiple answers because we did not yet have the one answer, though we did have very strong suspicions.
Consider the title of that book. It recalls Agatha Christie’s Orient Express, obviously, the story of several suspects in a murder all of whom could have committed the murder. Because that’s a novel all of them did it. On the Malta Express there was a passenger, relatively taciturn, who lurked in the background and chose his moment well. Well, that is, from his point of view.
Everyone deserves a vigorous defence. But what must matter in the end is the evidence.