Dutch inmate sought by Malta police both as fraud suspect and witness in Daphne case
, Dutch inmate sought by Malta police both as fraud suspect and witness in Daphne case

A Dutch inmate who allegedly recorded his conversations with Melvin Theuma has been summoned to Malta both as a witness in the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder case and as a suspect in money laundering and computer crime investigations, The Malta Independent has learnt.

It is understood, however, that Julian Hofstra has not yet been given a date for his hearing and interrogation in Malta.

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He has been served, at the Amsterdam prison, with what is called a European Investigation Order (EIO) for the temporary transfer of an inmate.

This newsroom had reported how Hofsra, a convicted fraudster and con-artist, had befriended pardoned middleman Melvin Theuma and recorded some of their conversations. The lawyers representing Yorgen Fenech, who is accused of being a mastermind in the murder, have already acquired the recordings but the police have also been trying, unsuccessfully, to get their hands on the clips.

Sources had said that, in the recordings, Theuma made statements that seem to contradict some of the testimony he gave in court. This, legal sources explained last week, could affect Theuma’s credibility and, as a result, the case against Fenech.

Theuma had also spoke to Hofstra about his fear that former OPM Chief of Staff Keith Schembri wanted to kill him.

The Malta Independent had also reported that Theuma had allegedly also asked the Dutch tech-whizz to send phishing emails to Yorgen Fenech and other people in the Tumas Group, in a bid to try to get his hands on ‘dirt’ on Theuma and other information he could use to secure a pardon.  This newsroom was told that Theuma would pay the Dutchman €2,000 for each email sent. It is unclear whether Theuma actually managed to obtain any information through this way.

Questions had arisen as to why the police did not issue a warrant to get a copy of the recordings from the Dutchman.

This newsroom has now learnt that the Maltese police have sent two EIOs to their Dutch counterparts in a bid to have Hofstra flown to Malta.

Sources explained that in one of the EIOs, Hofstra is listed as a suspect/accused person. This particular request pertains to an investigation on money laundering, fraud, computer-related crimes and rendering inaccessible data stored on a telecommunications device. It is believe that the latter is related to the Dutchman’s refusal to hand over the Theuma recordings to the police.

The second EIO calls on Hofstra as a witness in a murder case. It is understood that this refers to the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder investigation.

In the meantime, Hofstra has also been linked to the investigation on former EU Commissioner John Dalli and his former aide Silvio Zammit, as well as to former minister Konrad Mizzi.

Lovin Malta this week published a photo of Hofstra posing with Mizzi, former Air Malta Chairman Charles Mangion and former airline CEO Clifford Chetcuti at the Malta International Airport. At the time, Hofstra was on the run from the Dutch authorities and was the subject of a European Arrest Warrant, but it seems that the people posing with him in the photo were unaware of this fact or of his background.

Mizzi told Lovin Malta that he has “no recollection” of meeting Hofstra and does not know what he looks like.

The news portal also reported that Hofstra had helped Zammit change the timestamps on some emails. Zammit confirmed that he knows Hofstra but denied these claims.

Dalli, who had been forced to resign his EU post after an anti-fraud investigation found that Zammit had solicited a multi-million bribe to influence anti-tobacco laws, also shot down the claims as a “conspiracy of the corrupt media in Malta” and former OLAF director Giovanni Kessler. 

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