law court

The second marathon court sitting related to the Vitals inquiry in as many days was rendered null after 11 hours after the defence successfully argued that one of the firms involved had not been summoned.

Wednesday’s sitting saw the arraignment of Central Bank of Malta Governor and former Finance Minister Edward Scicluna and former Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne, along with three top civil servants, members of the adjudication board that awarded the concession, and several lawyers with varying degrees of involvement.

They are being charged with fraud, misappropriation and making fraudulent gain.

The proceedings were characterised by the large number of objections raised by the defence, with the sitting frequently alternating between shouting matches and suspensions.

The defence first tried to avoid a repeat of Tuesday’s session, where the freezing orders of huge sums were upheld despite vociferous opposition.

The stop-start nature of the sitting resulted in the charges only being read out at 5pm, with all parties pleading not guilty.

However, the sitting was eventually declared null because the prosecution had fumbled the serving of notice to DF Advocates, one of the firms accused.

With one of the parties not being informed of the case, it could not continue to be heard – despite all three of DF Advocates’ shareholders being present, since they were arraigned personally.

By all accounts, it was a very long and tedious day for all those involved, with nothing emerging from the sitting but the sense that the prosecution might be in over their heads.

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