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Rights of Caruana Galizia murder suspect were not breached, says ECHR

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Yorgen Fenech had complained about his detention conditions in Malta.
Yorgen Fenech had complained about his detention conditions in Malta.   -   Copyright  Martin Agius/AP/str
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The European Court of Human Rights says the rights of a suspect in the murder of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia were not breached during his pre-trial detention.

Businessman Yorgen Fenech had complained that Malta failed to protect his health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the Strasbourg court has partially dismissed the complaint and says the claims were "manifestly ill-founded".

Fenech is the alleged mastermind of the assassination of the Maltese investigative journalist and has been charged with complicity in her murder.

Caruana Galizia was killed by a car bomb in October 2017, as she was allegedly researching corruption in a company linked to Fenech.

One man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to her murder. Two other suspected hitmen have been charged with planting the bomb.

Another suspect, an alleged "middleman", has agreed to reveal details of the plot to kill the investigative journalist.

Yorgen Fenech has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, including membership of a criminal gang, and faces up to life in prison if convicted.

The businessman alleged that Maltese authorities had violated his rights by keeping him in pre-trial detention in poor conditions.

But the court said it did not have enough evidence to decide if Malta had subjected Fenech to inhuman treatment by detaining him during the COVID-19 pandemic. A decision on these complaints has been postponed.

Herman Grech, Editor-in-Chief of the Times of Malta, says the verdict shows that the Maltese court "did nothing wrong".

"This is yet another attempt by Yorgen Fenech to get bail, which has failed," he added.

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