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MALTATODAY 19 December 2021

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SUNDAY • 19 DECEMBER 2021 • ISSUE 1155 • PUBLISHED SUNDAY AND WEDNESDAY maltatoday The gift COVID ruined TRUTH IS OF NO COLOUR WWW.MALTATODAY.COM.MT Schembri bid to keep chats on private life out of lawyers' hands ROBERTA METSOLA Why gamers might not get their PS5 this Christmas PAGES 14-15 PAGE 4 MATTHEW VELLA & MATTHEW AGIUS KEITH Schembri, the former right-hand man to prime min- ister Joseph Muscat, has asked a court not to reveal the con- tents of private conversations in from a device whose data has been extracted by the po- lice, due to the sensitive nature of the chats. Schembri's request comes over concerns that the highly sensitive content could include information about his private life as well as about his person- al relations with political top brass. Schembri's lawyers told the court of Mr Justice Lawrence Mintoff that it would be "man- ifestly unjust if his personal da- ta ended up be- ing passed on to third parties, which would be a breach of his fundamental right to a fair hear- ing... and to his right to respect for his pri- vate and family life, his home and his corre- spondence." Schembri's lawyers specifically referred to the leaks of the chats in Yorgen Fenech's mobile phone which were broadcast across the media despite court orders for these not to be published. They requested that the data shown to Yorgen Fenech's lawyers are only given access to the data that is relevant to their constitutional case. It is indeed the nature of the chats that could be the backdrop to an apparent break- down in relations between the State Advocate and the Com- missioner of Police, the latter opposing Chris Soler's decision not to appeal a judge's order to exhibit the data. €1.95 State Advocate and police chief at loggerheads over court order to reveal second mobile phone data extraction Data extracted from a second device once used by former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri is the subject of a feud between the State Advocate and the Commissioner of Police. Schembri has now petitioned the constitutional court so that any data concerning his private life does not end up in the hands of third parties Yorgen Fenech's lawyers say the police have withheld data from a second device once used by Keith Schembri Ideas to give your family the best days out these holidays PG13 Christmas kiddie fun Why French MEPs are questioning her feminist credentials PAGE 6 COVID-19: Exponential rise in cases COVID-19 cases are rising ex- ponentially in Malta, with 291 new cases registered on Satur- day. Active cases now stand at 1,791, as 100 recoveries were registered. No new deaths were recorded, with the total number of deaths standing at 471. Despite the large number of cases, hospitalisations have re- mained stable and under control, with 22 coronavirus patients be- ing cared for at Mater Dei Hos- pital. Three of the patients are in the Intensive Therapy Unit. A total of 1,007,250 vaccina- tions have been administered so far, of which 167,322 were booster doses. The Maltese Paediatric Asso- ciation yesterday issued its sup- port for COVID-19 vaccination for children aged 5-11. It said that while serious com- plications from COVID-19 infection in children are un- common, they could still occur even in healthy children. Chil- dren have responded well to the currently approved COVID-19 vaccine, shown to be 90% pro- tective.

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