A wealth of messages between Yorgen Fenech and Melvin Theuma in the few days leading up to their arrest have been revealed in court.
Theuma, who was testifying in the case against Fenech over the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, revealed that he had last met Fenech face-to-face on Monday 11th November 2019 at Fenech’s office in Portomaso tower. Theuma was arrested on Thursday 14th November 2019.
The next day, Tuesday 12th November 2019, Fenech sent a message over encrypted-service Signal:
“I’ll fight till the end to get our way.”
Theuma replied telling him that his heart was ripped in two – explaining to the court that he had already considered pushing for a pardon when he got arrested – given the wealth of evidence against Fenech he had at his disposal.
Fenech messaged back: “I’m tired too.”
On Wednesday 13th November 2019, Fenech reached out to Theuma urging him to “clean everything”, which Theuma told the court was a request from Fenech to delete all the recordings he had in his possession and clean out any funds he had within his illegal gambling business.
Theuma replied with a different request – urging Fenech to reach out to “big one from Luqa”, then-Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar. Theuma asked Fenech to ask Keith Schembri to reach to Cutajar and ensure that their relatives were kept out of the raids.
Fenech replied: “Take heart. Once this is over, we’ll rest.”
Theuma told the court that Fenech was certain that if they escaped prosecution for the murder upon Theuma’s arrest on 14th November then they would have been in the clear. Fenech and Johann Cremona had assured Theuma that the investigation and arrest would focus on money laundering – adding that then-Superintendent Raymond Aquilina would ensure it did not go further.
Fenech had also promised to deliver a list of the locations where Theuma would be raided but never did so – raising his concerns that Fenech was just trying to get him to delete the tapes. Lovin Malta has reported how Theuma was pressured to delete the tapes by Fenech’s business partner, Johann Cremona.
“I’ll always be behind you. If only this had happened in 15 days time, so the paper would have been ready,” Fenech told Theuma on 13th November.
The messages continued through the night with Fenech telling Theuma that he hadn’t “slept for two days” because of the impending arrests.
Theuma was arrested the next morning – and quickly turned state witness once he realised that plans for an easy getaway were not on the cards. His evidence has proven crucial in the arrest and charge of Fenech – along with the arrests of Jamie Vella and Robert Agius in connection to the murder.
The same evidence has alsso implicated others like Keith Schembri, who was named as a mastermind in a letter found in Theuma’s evidence box, and Silvio Valletta. He told the court today that Fenech insisted both were major leaks on the case. With regards to Schembri, he reiterated that he cannot say under oath that Schembri was involved.
The case is adjourned until 8th June at 10am.
What do you think of the messages?