“I asked Fenech if it was Schembri who told him about Cardona’s phone” – Theuma

FILE PHOTO: People gather at the Great Siege Square calling for the resignation of Joseph Muscat following the arrest of one of the country's most prominent businessmen as part of the investigation into the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, in Valletta, Malta November 20, 2019. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane/File Photo

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The compilation of evidence against Yorgen Fenech, accused of complicity in the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, continued today.

The case against the owner of 17 Black and former Tumas Group director had to be put on hold when the lawcourts closed in the middle of March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The middleman in Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder, Melvin Theuma testified this morning as the court went through more of his recorded conversations with Fenech.

13:10 The Court sitting ends here. Thank you for following this live blog.
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13:07 The next court sitting will be held on Monday 8th June at 9am.
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13:04 Lawyer Dr Caruana Curran said that during the last sitting the court ordered that Keith Schembri, Kenneth Camilleri and Johann Cremona.

Magistrate Montebello said that in the next sitting on the 8 of June the court will finish listening to Theuma's secret recordings.
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13:02 Melvin Theuma's testimony ends here.
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12:59 He is also saying that he was never close to Cardona or people close to Cardona.
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12:57 Theuma said that he used to call Johann Cremona when Yorgen Fenech did not answer his calls.
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12:55 Theuma mentions the amount of €350,000 who was mentioned to him by Johann Cremona.
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12:52 He also said that Fenech told him that when the Degiorgios were inside the CCF van, after one of the court sittings, the guards inside the van recorded the Degiorgios saying that they will implicate Chris Cardona in all this.
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12:50 Theuma is saying that Fenech told him that David Gatt said that if the Degiorgios would name Chris Cardona he (Gatt) would be ready to kill them.
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12:49 Dr Azzopardi said that Theuma was also in contact with Mario Degiorgio. Theuma confirmed.
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12:46 Theuma said that he does not know who the person was but they had told him that the person's name starts with B.
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12:45 Theuma is saying that either Yorgen Fenech or Johann Cremona had shown him a photo of a person who had transferred the money from Chris Cardona to il-Fulu.
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12:40 Melvin Theuma said that Yorgen Fenech told him that Chris Cardona had been admitted to hospital after the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

The reason why Cardona was admitted to hospital was because of pills overdose.
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12:38 Melvin Theuma also said that Yorgen Fenech once told him that Adrian Delia had lunched with him at "his ranch". Theuma added, "I don't know if Yorgen was lying about that, he possibly did it to boast about this contacts".
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12:36 Theuma said that Fenech told him that Valletta knows who he is. At that point, he continued to reaffirm that there was a conspiracy to blame him for everything.
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12:35 Theuma recalled that once he saw Silvio Valletta at Fenech's home.
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12:33 He is recalling a particular meeting he had with Fenech.

Theuma said that at the time he was suffering from depression.
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12:32 Melvin Theuma said that he used to visit Fenech's farmhouse in Zebbug on a regular basis.
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12:30 Lawyer Jason Azzopardi is asking Melvin Theuma questions to try and determine the time of this conversation.

Theuma confirmed that the conversation was after the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia.
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12:28 Theuma said that he was worried that he would be blamed for everything as he was the person who was in contact with il-Fulu and once with ic-Ciniz and not Yorgen Fenech.
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12:24 Theuma said that Alfred Degiorgio did not want him to visit him at the potato sheds in Marsa so he started communicated with Degiorgio with a different mobile.

Theuma said that Fenech knew about this.

Melvin Theuma explained that he wanted to know if they had found his phone as well. That is why he was asking questions about Cardona's phone.
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12:23 Theuma confirmed that Yorgen Fenech had communicated this to him.
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12:22 Chris Cardona used to communicate with Il-Fulu, said Theuma.
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12:18 Theuma clarified that when he mentioned Cardona he was referring to Chris Cardona.
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12:13 The Magistrate said that the court has the right to listen to the recordings again and the defence team will have the opportunity to ask its questions during cross-examination.
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12:07 Defence lawyers are against that Theuma is presented with the transcripts.

Dr Caruana Curran said that the recording heard today, Theuma has already testified on it and he is now mentioning details he did not mention before but with the transcripts in front of him he is now mentioning them.
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12:05 Theuma said he also asked Fenech if it was Keith Schembri who told him they found Cardona's phone in the sea.
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12:04 Asked what he meant when he said "Cardona's phone" Theuma said that Fenech told him that they found a mobile phone in the sea which belonged to Cardona.
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12:01 Melvin Theuma also explained that he had told Fenech if he was not worried that they get caught.

He also said that he had a mobile phone which was specifically used to communicate with Alfred Degiorgio.
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11:59 Theuma also said that in December 2018 he went for a holiday. During that time of the year, he always travelled to the UK.
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11:58 Theuma said that in the conversation he was telling Fenech that he was very worried but Fenech was telling him there is no need too and that he should not make a fuss out of the situation.
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11:56 Theuma said that he does not remember the day or time of these recordings but said that he remembers for sure that they were in Zebbug.
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11:51 Inspector Arnaud said that in the recordings a third person is heard. Theuma says it is Fenech's wife.
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11:47 Theuma wanted to clarify a sentence written in the transcripts but Magistrate Montebello said that first, the court will hear all the recordings then he may speak.
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11:45 Recordings are being played but are not very clear.
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11:44 Theuma is presented with a copy of the transcripts.
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11:43 Middleman Melvin Theuma takes the witness stand.
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11:42 Magistrate Montebello gave permission for Fenech to sit next to his legal defence team.
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11:35 Dr Caruana Curran said that the middleman Melvin Theuma is expected to testify on what he remembers and should not be provided by the transcripts.

He also questioned why the lawyers representing Theuma are being handed a copy of the transcripts.

Magistrate Montebello said that the court had already ordered that Theuma should be provided with a copy of the transcripts.
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11:34 Dr Caruana Curran has asked Magistrate Montebello if it is possible for his client sits next to him so that he could also follow the transcripts.
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11:31 Inspector Keith Arnaud has asked Magistrate Montebello to re-listen to a recording heard during the last sitting due to certain discrepancies.

Magistrate Montebello said that this process can be done in a separate sitting and ordered that today the court hears the recording of the transcripts presented today.
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11:28 We are back in session.
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11:22 Lawyer Charles Mercieca has entered the courtroom.
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11:19 The court suspends the sitting for a few minutes.
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11:16 Lawyer Gianluca Caruana Curran is talking to his client, Yorgen Fenech.
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11:14 Another envelope containing the transcripts of the recordings is being checked by the defence lawyers, prosecution and Dr Azzopardi who is representing the Caruana Galizia family.
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10:41 Today middleman Melvin Theuma is expected to testify on more recordings of telephone calls between him and Yorgen Fenech.
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10:40 The court is still checking that all documents of the transcripts presented are in order.
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10:38 Yorgen Fenech’s case had made the headlines during the month of May when Lawyer Charles Mercieca resigned from the Attorney’s General’s Office and joined Fenech’s legal team the day after.

Justice Minister Edward Zammit Lewis deemed it an insensitive move but said that there was no indication of wrongdoing by the young lawyer.
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10:29 The court is checking if the documents have been filed in the correct manner.
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10:26 Inspector Arnaud has asked Magistrate Montebello if it is possible to enumerate the documents of the recordings presented.
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10:19 Inspector Keith Arnaud said that the recordings presented today should not include any mistakes in the transcripts as presented during the last sitting.
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10:17 During the last sitting middleman, Melvin Theuma testified on the recording 0023.
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10:14 Magistrate Montebello has ordered for the transcripts of the recording.

128 files have been presented.

There are files which have been saved according to the length of the recordings.
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10:11 Magistrate Rachel Montebello has entered the courtroom.
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10:03 Lawyers Jason Azzopardi and Therese Comodini Cachia are appearing parte civile for the Caruana Galizia family.
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10:03 His defence lawyers are Marion Camilleri and Gianluca Caruana Curran, whilst the prosecution is being led by inspectors Keith Arnaud and Kurt Zahra, assisted by the Attorney General.
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10:02 Yorgen Fenech is present inside the courtroom.
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09:50 The compilation of evidence is expected to start at 10 am.
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09:50 We are live from Courtroom 22.
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09:49 Good morning and welcome to this live blog.
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