Melvin Theuma employed after a ‘public call’

Melvin Theuma, who allegedly acted as a middle man in a plot to murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, is seen in a police car as he leaves the Courts of Justice in Valletta, Malta, December 4, 2019. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Alleged middleman Melvin Theuma was employed after a ‘public call’, the Principle Permanent Secretary said on Thursday. He went through the selection process in April 2017 – before the snap election was announced, the statement reads. This statement follows one in which the Principle Permanent Secretary had denied that Theuma was ever employed by the government, the subsequent proof made public about an hour later. Now the Principal Permanent Secretary has made a complete retraction.

On Wednesday, Theuma testified in court. He said that he was given a job by then, chief of staff Keith Schembri and Sandro Craus, the OPM’s head of customer care. Theuma explained that he was instructed to go to the ministry opposite the old theatre. The social policy ministry is located there and at that time Michael Farrugia headed the ministry.

Theuma said that he used to receive a cheque every month which stopped after the election. The taxi driver who was granted presidential pardon in exchange for information told the court that he did not know what his job was as he never turned up at work. Principal Permanent Secretary Mario Cutajar had said that Theuma’s was not among the list of persons who had been employed in the Public Service.

It was only after Xarabank published the contract that Cutajar confirmed that Theuma had indeed been employed by the government. In a statement on Thursday, the Principle Permanent Secretary said that after it had been verified that Theuma had not been listed as an employee of the civil service, his office had asked for other verification from all government entities, which are distinct from public service.

The Office of the Principal Permanent Secretary was informed that an employee by the name of Melvin Theuma had been employed after a public call by Jobsplus and a selection process in April 2017. Theuma was employed at the Housing Embellishment and Maintenance Co Ltd which falls under the Family Ministry.

Theuma started his employment in May 2017 – the month when the snap election was announced – and the last salary was paid for August. According to the statement, his job had been terminated because he did not attend work.

The Family Ministry has passed the information on to the police.

The Office of the Principal Permanent Secretary said that the documents will be preserved and available for any ongoing or future investigation.