Vince Farrugia assault case: Lawyer reveals more SMSs, witness admits lying under oath
"We must blacken his name with all ministers and parliamentary secretaries, MPs and authorities so that nobody trusts him and nobody touches him. He is a leper. We must hit him from all angles. No mercy." - Vince Farrugia about Sandro Chetcuti
The defence lawyer for Sandro Chetcuti, who stands accused of seriously injuring GRTU Director General Vince Farrugia this morning revealed a number of text messages made the day before the incident which, he said, showed his client had been provoked.
Mr Chetcuti stands accused of having assaulted and seriously injured Mr Farrugia on March 11, 2010.
Defence lawyer Emanuel Mallia cross examined a number of witnesses including GRTU officials Philip Fenech and Joe Attard, and employee Sylvia Gauci.
During the questioning, Dr Mallia noted that an SMS was sent the day before the alleged case - where Mr Farrugia told Mr Fenech: "We must blacken his name with all ministers and parliamentary secretaries, MPs and authorities so that nobody trusts him and nobody touches him. He is a leper. We must hit him from all angles. No mercy."
Mr Fenech replied: "Just tell him to go or else!! Paul will....we have all endorsement...by all that matter in the council."
Mr Farrugia replied: "But first we must besmirch him. We must not make a hero for Labour out of him. We must first expose him as cheap, a traitor, untrustworthy, a bum, money-stinks guy. Then we dump him as a cant wrapper."
Mr Fenech replied: "Yes, fully agree, will do. Tomorrow I will tell you what I did so far. I will see you after a court case I have."
Mr Farrugia said: "Just phone everyone you know that we caught him red-handed spying for Joseph. Kill. He will die when he is shunned."
Mr Fenech replied: "Yes will do, that is the way".
Later that evening, Mr Fenech told Mr Farrugia: "Excellent, well done, I spoke to Paul (Abela, president of the GRTU) regarding Sandro. Tomorrow we shall talk. He is dangerous, cannot trust him, he has exceeded all limits...! Philip.
On March 14, three days after the incident, Mr Farrugia sent an SMS to Joe Attard saying "Harguh ghal exercise fil bitha illum ghax qal li fic-cella ha jiggennen Ferrari Lamborghini." (He was taken out in the courtyard today because he's going crazy in his cell)
And Mr Attard replied "Ahjar jidra l-ambjent ghax ser ikun parti mill-ghamara." (He had better get used to the environment because he is going to become part of the furniture)
On March 19, Mr Farrugia sent an SMS to Sylvia Gauci, one of the first persons on the scene after the alleged attack. He told her:
"Re Wednesday, remember, when you came in you saw him looking vicious and almost ready to butt my head with his. Your eye message, which I read, was 'watch it' and your eyes showed terror. That is what I will say, and as he hit me you heard him say repeatedly Noqtlok, Noqtlok, that is the truth. I wake up hearing those words in his hoarse voice, loud in my ears. We must all hammer this point."
Explaining in court, Ms Gauci said that what she had previously testified was not true. She had not seen Mr Chetcuti hitting Mr Farrugia. All she had seen was Mr Farrugia on the floor, with blood coming out of his eyebrow and Mr Chetcuti standing a couple of metres away.
Immediately following the incident, she said she had a meeting with Mr Fenech, Mr Attard, Paul Abela and some employees where they discussed what they were going to say to the police. It was decided how things should be said.
She said she was later worried that they had discussed what they would say.