Graphic details of the moment that journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed by a car bomb on 16 October 2017 were today shared in court by Francis Sant, a Bidnija resident.
Sant was testifying in the compilation of evidence against prime murder suspect Yorgen Fenech.
In a distinguishably soft voice, Sant recalled how he was driving through the Bidnija road on that fateful day at about 3pm when he saw Caruana Galizia’s car driving in his direction, towards Mosta. He recalled how her car slowed down, which made him sense that something was wrong.
He told Magistrate Rachel Montebello he was scared, and his car moved backwards as he noticed that she “appeared to be panicking”.
He then heard a “small bang” which he likened to the sound of firework explosions, followed by a “piercing scream”. It was after that that the second explosion happened, which left Sant shocked.
“I saw parts of her ripped off. Her hand flew off… I realised they were human parts,” he said, providing the court with exhaustive detail. He realised he could not do anything. “It was so cruel,” he added.
A female driver with children in her car passed the scene and called for help, he recalled, just before Caruana Galizia’s son, Matthew, came running down the road in tears.
Before leaving the witness stand, Sant noted that for some reason he drove slowly that day, which was unusual.
Sant has testified before and even repeated this description in a documentary on the assassination. However, it was once again met by a silent courtroom, even leaving the defence without any questions to ask.
Following Sant’s testimony, members of the public, who were reading live blogs of the case, took to social media to express their shock at the narrative and reaffirmed the need for justice for the journalist.
Prior to Sant, numerous police officers and inspectors also gave their testimonies about their actions and recollections of the day.
Following Sant, Inspector Kurt Zahra was called to testify, but his testimony was held behind closed doors.