Tista’ taqra dan l-artiklu bil-Malti
A US court has been asked to confirm the appointment of a commissioner to subpoena information requested by Malta in relation to criminal proceedings against Yorgen Fenech concerning the alleged purchase of weapons on the dark web.
On 21 September, a district court in Delaware was informed that US authorities had agreed to provide Malta with the information under a treaty signed between the two countries.
Malta sent a rogatory letter on 14 September asking for information in relation to Fenech’s “unlawful acquisition of firearms on or about 13 December 2017 and 25 November 2018.”
Fenech is also accused of commissioning the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia on 16 October 2017.
Interestingly, the request from Malta does not only focus on Fenech, but also on lawyer Aron Mifsud Bonnici, known to have acted as Konrad Mizzi’s lawyer in several scandals while he was also appointed to several decision-making posts on controversial deals.
“According to authorities in Malta, on 25 November 2018, Fenech inquired into the purchase of a Glock firearm and a Scorpion CZ automatic rifle for 0.9 Bitcoin. On the same day, another individual, Aron Mifsud Bonnici sent from his accounts at Coinbase and Poloniex 1 Bitcoin to Fenech, 0.9 Bitcoin of which Fenech then used for the weapons purchase,” the document submitted in court by the US authorities states, which goes on to detail further transactions listed.
“Maltese authorities seek pertinent business records from Coinbase and Poloniex for both Mifsud Bonnici and Fenech. Poloniex and Coinbase are both Delaware corporations with registered agents located in Delaware,” the submission adds.
The request filed in the US court states that it was Mifsud Bonnici who passed on the Bitcoin, with which the guns and grenades were allegedly purchased.
The Office of the Attorney General in Malta has requested records for both Fenech and Mifsud Bonnici related to transactions, including account creation data, user IDs, IP address history, names, dates of birth, telephone numbers, address information and email addresses, as well as support tickets and any correspondence.
The US court is now expected to rubberstamp the request and allow US law enforcement agents to subpoena the information requested by Malta.
The request is linked to an ongoing court case presided over by Magistrate Nadine Lia, being held behind closed doors so the public cannot be informed about proceedings.
Prosecutors say they have evidence that Fenech enquired about buying a Glock pistol and silencers, Scorpion rifles, two grenades and 800 rounds of ammunition from black market dealers online and paid for those items using Bitcoin cryptocurrency.
There seems to be no evidence so far that the weapons ever reached Malta.