Self-harm or not, the state still failed | Iggy Fenech

    melvin-theuma
    Miguela Xuereb

    When the self-confessed middleman to the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was found with stab wounds all over his upper body earlier this week, a lot of things went through my mind.

    I wondered why anyone wanting to commit suicide would self-inflict such slow-to-kill wounds to himself to do so, when there are so many other, quicker and less painful ways of doing it. I wondered where the police had been at the time, though later I found out that they were outside the block of flats he lives in. I wondered how things would pan out for the trial.

    But the one thing I didn’t wonder about was who was meant to shoulder responsibility for this situation.

    Many in this country seem to take offense when people call for the resignation of those in power, even when things go horribly, horribly wrong. But it seems like nothing short of catching a politician or someone in high office with literal blood on their hands warrants a thank you note followed by a kind request for resignation.

    When you are a politician or occupying high office, you are there to see that things function the way they should. Both Home Affairs, National Security and Law Enforcement Minister Byron Camilleri and police commissioner Angelo Gafà knew what was at stake if anything had to happen to Theuma. In a case that has already been mired in speculation, injustice and scandal, the one thing neither of them could afford to let happen was for Melvin Theuma to get hurt, even through ‘self-harm’.

    I don’t think you need to be a psychiatrist to figure out that someone like Theuma was going through a lot, emotionally or mentally. I also don’t think you need to be a criminologist to assume that someone would have wanted to do away with him if they got the chance. And even if all the precautions those in charge of Theuma’s safety could think of were implemented, the fact that it wasn’t enough is now written in Theuma’s own blood.

    The murder trial of Daphne Caruana Galizia simply cannot have any more twists and turns. Her family and the country need closure and she is as deserving of justice as anyone else, no matter what your opinion of her or her writing was or is. The inability to keep Theuma away from harm has put another spoke in an already malfunctioning wheel. No one should accept that, no matter what the truth may be.