Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech holds court to exculpate herself

Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech

Today, Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech held a court session exclusively and primarily to exculpate herself regarding Keith Schembri’s missing phone. This court session which was basically a monologue by the Magistrate was exceptionally irregular. She said she held it “to set the record straight” but a magistrate can’t hold court to exculpate themselves. In fact, Keith Schembri’s lawyers have opened constitutional proceedings claiming a breach of rights and Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech should supposedly have waited for Judge Mark Simiana’s decision, before preparing a court hearing. Luckily, Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech was saved by the Attorney-General’s Office.

AG lawyer Antoine Agius Bonnici is arguing that the mobile phone was lost due to an administrative error explaining in an acrobatic manner how such a procedure would have supposedly and erroneously resulted in the loss of a piece of evidence. What’s strange is that the Magistrate is claiming that Keith Schembri’s mobile phone was held safely in the Exhibits Room and not in her Chamber as was previously reported. Yet, the members of the judiciary are not authorized to enter the Exhibits Room which is under the responsibility of the Exhibits Officer. This procedure is in place so as to minimise the risk of compromising the chain of evidence.

And what has happened to the CTV footage since then? Is Judge Mark Simiana’s decision to allow the case to continue closing the lid on this matter? If so, we may never get confirmation of what happened through the court’s own footage.

There is a very important factor that should be considered in this story. Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech has been on friendly speaking terms with Prime Minister Robert Abela as of early this year. Keith Schembri and Robert Abela hate each other’s guts and Keith Schembri’s lawyer, Edward Gatt is taking a lot of risk for his client by clashing with the magistrate. However, this may also be calculated. Keith Schembri may feel that he will never get a fair trial with Donatella Frendo Dimech as Magistrate and his lawyer is jumping into the fire to save him.

3 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. The court expert did not confirm that Keith Schembri’s phone was sealed in an evidence bag - Mark Camilleri
  2. Saved by a Magisterial appointment – Mark Camilleri
  3. Breaking: the Chamber of Advocates to discuss Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech – Mark Camilleri

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