Daphne’s murder case: Melvin Theuma explains recordings

Melvin Thuema
Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The compilation of evidence in the case of the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in 2017 continued on Thursday.

Melvin Theuma took to the stand to explain the recordings that he kept in the plastic box which he handed to the Police upon being apprehended.

  • Over 100 gigabytes of information and 23 photographs.
  • We heard the recordings found in Theuma’s plastic box.
  • From the recordings: Melvin told Yorgen that Keith told Kenneth that they would pledge on the 22nd and take a million euros each.
  • Melvin Theuma felt that Yorgen Fenech was betraying him with Keith Schembri

LIVE: Yorgen Fenech ħiereġ mill-qorti

Posted by Newsbook.com.mt on Thursday, January 30, 2020
12:24 The court is adjourned. The next hearings will be heard on the 5th, 13th and 20th February. The first hearing will start at 9.30am, the others will start at 10am. The court will be adjourned at 1pm on the three dates.
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Luisa Apap
12:15 The Magistrate says that an expert will be appointed to deal with the transcripts.
Luisa Apap
12:15 Melvin Theuma leaves the courtroom. The security officers covered Yorgen Fenech whilst Theuma passed from behind him.
Luisa Apap
12:14 Theuma’s deposition is being suspended so that the transcripts of the recordings could be done.
Luisa Apap
12:12 Theuma says that the recordings are not being heard clearly. He adds that on the laptop they could be heard clearly.
Luisa Apap
12:09 Theuma said that Kenneth told him that he had been fooled when they told him about the 22nd and the pledge.
He adds that Yorgen used to say that Keith did not have the power to sort out a pledge. He said that he did not even manage to settle his own issues with the court.
Luisa Apap
12:06 Prosecution: there is a snippet that says that Kenneth did not fall from the sky.
Theuma: Yes, someone must have sent him.
Luisa Apap
12:05 Theuma said that Yorgen Fenech has checked with Keith about the fact that the latter had sent Kenneth.
Luisa Apap
12:04 Theuma said that Keith Schembri told him so, but he did not believe him.
Luisa Apap
12:02 Theuma: I immediately thought that Kenneth was sent by either Yorgen or Keith. Afterwards, I found out that Yorgen did not know Kenneth.
Luisa Apap
12:01 Theuma: I told Mario Degiorgio of the 22nd and the pledge.
Luisa Apap
12:00 Theuma felt that this information was not true and that Yorgen Fenech was betraying him with Keith Schembri.
Luisa Apap
11:58 Theuma was thinking of a conspiracy against him. He was afraid that he would either get killed or be sent to jail.
Yorgen told him that he was informed that Arthur Azzopardi went to the Police Depot with Vince Muscat to let the cat out of the bag.
Luisa Apap
11:55 He mentions Arthur Azzopardi and the word betrayal. Arthur Azzopardi was trying to push il-Koħħu to reveal everything.
Luisa Apap
11:52 In the recording, Theuma is telling Fenech that Keith told Kenneth that the pledge will be taken on the 22nd and each will get a million euros.
Luisa Apap
11:49 Theuma says that he cannot recall when this recording was done. He knows that he started with the recording right after Vince Muscat wanted to spill the beans.
Luisa Apap
11:48 We continue to hear the recording.
Luisa Apap
11:47 Theuma gave him (Fenech) the recordings, as well as a letter.
Luisa Apap
11:46 He adds that Yorgen Fenech found out about the recordings on the 15th of October 2018.
Luisa Apap
11:46 Theuma says that two mobile phones were used for the recordings. One was in the middle of the car, and the other in the driver’s door.
He explains that Fenech was not aware of the recordings.
Luisa Apap
11:43 The children are Yorgen Fenech’s.
Luisa Apap
11:42 Theuma says that the voices heard are his, Yorgen Fenech’s and of some children.
He was picking up Fenech from the airport after the latter was abroad for a football match. He believes that the recoding was done sometime in 2018 or 2019.
Luisa Apap
11:39 A number of voices are heard. one of them seems to be that of a small boy.
Luisa Apap
11:38 The first recording was taken in a car.
Luisa Apap
11:37 We will be hearing the recording that were found in Theuma's plastic box.
Luisa Apap
11:34 Melvin Theuma is next to give his testimony.
Luisa Apap
11:33 The Magistrate re-enters the courtroom.
Luisa Apap
11:21 We are still waiting patiently for the hearing to continue.
Luisa Apap
11:13 Meanwhile, the court has found Minister Owen Bonnici guilty of breaching activists’ rights when he kept clearing the makeshift memorial for assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia at the Great Siege memorial.
The activists are calling for Bonnici’s resignation from Minister for Education and Employment.
Luisa Apap
11:00 The hearing is suspended for 15 minutes. The court officials are still trying to figure out the recordings.
Luisa Apap
10:59 Melvin Theuma’s lawyer asked the court for a copy of the recordings.
Both the prosecution and the defence are not objecting to then request. The Magistrate accepts the request.
Luisa Apap
10:55 Magistrate also orders that copies of recordings are not given to third parties.
Luisa Apap
10:53 The Magistrate orders a copy of the recordings to be forwarded to the defence and the parte civile.
Luisa Apap
10:47 The prosecution says that there are various copies of the recordings.
Luisa Apap
10:45 Yorgen Fenech is speaking with his lawyers. Two security officers are standing just centimetres away from him.
Luisa Apap
10:43 A recording is stopped after a handful of seconds.
Luisa Apap
10:40 There seems to be some unknown delay.
Luisa Apap
10:38 Court officials are asking those standing in the courtroom to leave. There is not enough room for everyone.
Luisa Apap
10:33 We are waiting for the court to sort out the presented files.
Luisa Apap
10:32 There is a discussion between the advocates, the prosecution and the magistrate. They are figuring out how to best hear some recordings and how to make the necessary transcripts.
Luisa Apap
10:30 It is for this reason that the defendant did not present a reply. The defence also declares that it has no objection to nominate an expert, as per requested by the prosecution.
Luisa Apap
10:25 The defence states that Yorgen Fenech was not given a copy of the appeal filed by the prosecution. He was informed of this appeal whilst in jail on the 24th of January 2020.
Luisa Apap
10:22 Cardona's testimony is over. We do not know what files or photographs form part of the exhibit.
Luisa Apap
10:21 He presents a hard drive containing over 100 gigabytes of information as an exhibit. The hard drive contains files which he was ordered to copy.
Luisa Apap
10:20 The expert was asked to collect the electronic data. He managed to copy 23 photographs.
Luisa Apap
10:18 Alvin Cardona takes to the stand.
Luisa Apap
10:13 The Magistrate enters the court.
Luisa Apap
10:10 Yorgen Fenech enters the courtroom flanked by two security guards.
Luisa Apap
10:00 Everyone is waiting for the hearing to start. Members of the Caruana Galizia family are present in Court.
Luisa Apap

Highlights from the last hearing:

  • According to Inspector Keith Arnaud, the Police was not present when Keith Schembri’s office at OPM was sealed.
  • Keith Schembri refused to forward iCloud password – Keith Arnaud
  • Inspector Arnaud does not remember what Keith Schembri told him when he asked him WHERE, WHEN and HOW did he lose his mobile phone.
  • Inspector Arnaud is not informed whether a report was filed in relation to Keith Schembri’s lost phone.
  • Magistrate: Was Schembri asked to return the mobile phone if it was found?
  • Arnaud: No, we are still investigating.
  • Yorgen Fenech was denied release on bail.
  • Details of what was found in Yorgen Fenech’s yacht, residence and office are give put.