“Keith Schembri knew everything” – Melvin Theuma

The compilation of evidence in the case of the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in 2017 continued today. Businessman Yorgen Fenech, the owner of the secret Dubai company, 17 Black, is being accused of ordering the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. The pardoned middleman, Melvin Theuma today continued giving his testimony.

  • Melvin Theuma said that Fenech told Keith Schembri about the murder
  • Theuma says Fenech told him when Joseph Muscat knew about all of this he was infuriated.
  • Muscat was mentioned once in conversations between Theuma and Fenech
  • Theuma says there were instances when Schembri called Fenech in his presence
  • Melvin Theuma says Fenech told him how Schembri asked Judge Mizzi for information because of ‘ix-xiħ’ – referring to Joseph Muscat
  • Theuma confirms that Yorgen Fenech went to a party at the Palace in Girgenti
13:17 Thank you for following this live blog.
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13:15 Today's hearing ends. The compilation of evidence in the case of the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia will continue on the13th of February at 10 am.
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13:13 Pardoned middleman, Melvin Theuma, exits the courtroom.
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13:12 In court, Yorgen Fenech is seen shaking his head to what Theuma is saying.
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13:09 Melvin Theuma: "Yorgen Fenech told me they were going to throw acid on the wife and children of Vince Muscat." Theuma says he was not aware who was going to do it.
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13:05 Theuma says that Yorgen had told him that Keith Schembri asked for information from Judge Mizzi because of 'ix-xiħ' – referring to Joseph Muscat.
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12:56 Theuma confirms that Yorgen Fenech went to a party at the Palace in Girgenti.
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12:55 In the recording, the court is hearing now, Yorgen and Melvin are heard saying that the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia has 'destroyed' them.
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12:52 Theuma says that Yorgen Fenech told him that when Joseph Muscat knew about all of this was infuriated. He then says this was the only time the name Joseph Muscat was mentioned in conversations between him and Yorgen Fenech.
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12:50 During Theuma's testimony Joseph Muscat, Malta's former Prime Minister is mentioned. Theuma is heard saying "kien indannat".
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12:49 Then mentions how Fenech told him that Schembri informed him that the Police was close to solving the murder of Caruana Galizia.
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12:46 Melvin Theuma said he always heard Yorgen Fenech say the bomb to kill Daphne was made by Ta' Maksar, a family from Zebbug, Malta. Says he is not sure if the farmhouse of Ta' Maksar was close to Fenech's.
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12:44 Jason Azzopardi asks what did Yorgen Fenech mean when saying "go to Ta' Maksar". To this Theuma's reply was that he did not know if he was referring to him only.
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12:43 Lawyer Jason Azzopardi starts questioning again Melvin Theuma.
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12:42 Theuma also says that Vince Muscat had revealed information about other cases involving car bombs but says Muscat was not going to give information about the HSBC case.
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12:38 He then refers to what Daphne Caruana Galizia had written in her blog about Keith Schembri's health.
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12:36 Melvin Theuma says that in conversations between him and Yorgen Fenech they never mentioned names. Then says he thinks that Keith Schembri was panicking. "Keith knew everything" -said Theuma in court.
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12:36 Defence Lawyers question the validity of what Melvin Theuma is saying.
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12:34 Theuma also says that Keith Schembri knew it was Yorgen Fenech who ordered the assassination and says that Schembri was shocked when Fenech told him he ordered the assassination of Caruana Galizia.
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12:31 Theuma says that Schembri told Fenech he should have informed him he ordered the assassination.
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12:29 Theuma says that Fenech told him he informed Keith Schembri about the murder.
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12:28 Melvin Theuma says that Silvio Valletta used to feed information to Yorgen Fenech regarding the investigation on the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.
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12:24 Prosecution starts questioning regarding the last recording heard.
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12:12 More mistakes found in the transcripts of the recordings. The Magistrate ordered the court to prepare another transcript where is deemed necessary.
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12:03 Prosecution fears there might have been mistakes in the transcripts of the recordings. Magistrate Montebello is correcting where necessary.
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12:00 Cross-examination is over and the court will hear another recording.
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11:55 Theuma says that Kenneth had told him that the Police did not know of him yet. Then says he used to meet Johann Cremona every day. With Kenneth Camilleri, he met twice. He mentions how it might be possible that he had met Kenneth and Johann prior to the case.
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11:50 Melvin Theuma says he knew Kenneth as a policeman. He says he did not know him personally.
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11:47 Theuma says that Johann Cremona had introduced him to Kenneth Camilleri. He says he's under the impression that Kenneth knew all about the assassination of Caruana Galizia.
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11:46 Defence Lawyer, Marion Camilleri, is cross-examining Melvin Theuma.
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11:43 The defence asks the court for the cross-examination of the first recording heard today in court. The request is accepted.
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11:40 Magistrate Montebello re-enters the courtroom.
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11:33 More recordings are to be heard in court.
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11:28 Yorgen Fenech and Melvin Theuma are still present in the courtroom.
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11:28 Magistrate Montebello exits the courtroom.
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11:25 Jason Azzopardi asks Theuma if he remembers of any dinner held at Yorgen Fenech's farmhouse in Zebbug. Theuma says dinners at Yorgen's were quite frequent. Asked if he remembers of a bag given to him by Fenech, Theuma replies, no. Lawyer Azzopardi says he knows of a fact of this dinner to which Theuma was present and of a bag given to Theuma.
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11:23 Theuma then says that he did not call Karol Aquilina as his mobile phone battery died. He then said that he changed his mind and did not call any of them. He wanted to call them regarding a presidential pardon.
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11:20 He then says that he had called Jason Azzopardi and told him he wanted to talk to him about "il-każ il-kbir". Azzopardi asked him to contact Karol Aquilina as he was abroad.
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11:19 Theuma says that he does not recall when exactly he started communicating with il-Koħħu.
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11:09 Theuma says that he never recorded conversations he had with the Degiorgio brothers. He then says how Fenech has asked him to find and contact a family known as Ta' Maksar. Theuma says he does not know this family.
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11:07 Jason Azzopardi asks Theuma if there was a Whatsapp group chat between Yorgen Fenech, Keith Schembri and Joseph Muscat. Theuma replies that Fenech never mentioned anything.
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11:06 Melvin Theuma: "There were instances when Keith Schembri called Yorgen Fenech, in my presence"
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11:03 Lawyer Jason Azzopardi asks how they referred to Silvio Valletta. Theuma replies that he and Fenech used to refer to him as "Valletta l-Oħxon".
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11:01 Theuma says that Yorgen Fenech told him that Keith Schembri and Silvio Valletta had informed him (to Fenech) that il-Kohhu is revealing information to the Police.
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10:56 Lawyer Jason Azzopardi, Parte Civile, starts to ask questions to pardoned middleman Melvin Theuma.
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10:55 He then says that Fenech asked him to bet €16,500 on football for him.
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10:51 Theuma also says that Yorgen Fenech told him that it was Keith Schembri who sent Kenneth to him.
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10:49 He then says how he used to receive messages morning to evening and how it was unbearable. "It was better to be dead than alive" said Theuma.
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10:48 Melvin Theuma says that Yorgen Fenech and Keith Schembri knew each other very well and they were very close.
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10:46 He says that he knows only of Yorgen Fenech as the person who ordered the assassination of Caruana Galizia because it was him who paid il-Fulu the sum of €150,000 to kill her.
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10:43 Melvin Theuma says how he had spent the night drinking. Then says he went to Mario Degiorgio so that he could send a message to Alfred and George that Vince was feeding information to the police about them. On the same day, Mario Degiorgo called his brothers to inform them.
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10:40 Theuma continues explaining how he never talked to Vince Muscat but he always dealt with Alfred Degiorgio and only once with George Degiorgio. "It was then when I realised I was being betrayed because Vince Muscat does not know me. I never talked to him so how is it possible that he reveals information about me" -Theuma
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10:38 Melvin Theuma says that Yorgen Fenech had called him. Told him he wanted to talk to him and to meet him at the farmhouse as they had a problem with Vince Muscat.
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10:35 Theuma says he decided to start recording conversations with Fenech after he received information that Vince Muscat, il-Kohhu started revealing all the information regarding the assassination and therefore his links to Melvin Theuma.
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10:33 He says that in that phone call his voice, that of Yorgen Fenech and his children are heard. He then explains that this recording was after the assassination of the journalist and that he recorded the call in a car which he used to pick up Fenech from the airport.
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10:32 Melvin Theuma takes the stand in court to testify.
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10:30 The recording of the phone call is stopped.
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10:28 The recording is still playing. Voices of children are heard in the background. Conversations about football between Theuma and Fenech feature constantly.
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10:24 After the recording of a call is heard Melvin Theuma will have to answer questions.
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10:16 The recording is still being played in court but parts of it are not clear.
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10:10 Conversations about football are being heard. They are listening to Yorgen Fenech and Melvin Theuma discussing the pledge and talking about Kenneth, the person who used to work as one of Joseph Muscat's Security Officers.
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10:08 Melvin Theuma re-enters the courtroom. The recordings are being played again in court.
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10:06 Lawyer Jason Azzopardi asks for recordings transcriptions to be sent as a soft copy. Magistrate Montebello approves the request.
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10:05 Magistrate Montebello re-enters the courtroom.
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10:01 Magistrate Montebello also exits the courtroom. Everyone is waiting for the sitting to continue.
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09:56 Magistrate Montebello asks Theuma to exit the courtroom.
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09:54 Middleman Melvin Theuma enters the courtroom and walks by Yorgen Fenech who was protected by security officers as a precaution and security measure.
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09:53 Yorgen Fenech is having a word with one of his lawyers.
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09:52 Says that some of the recordings were not very clear and there over 130 calls recorded by Theuma.
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09:49 First to testify today is the person who was in charge of the transcriptions of the phone calls recorded by middleman Melvin Theuma.
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09:48 Yorgen Fenech, who is being accused of being one of the masterminds in the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia is present in court.
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09:45 Magistrate Rachel Montebello enters the courtroom.
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09:43 Members of Daphne Caruana Galizia's family are present in the courtroom for today's sitting. Lawyers of Yorgen Fenech are also present in court.
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