Police Commissioner Angelo Gafà confirmed his force’s initial assessment that Melvin Theuma appeared to have sustained self-inflicted injuries last month, revealing that Theuma himself had said as much to police as he was being taken to hospital. A statement issued by the Police confirmed that he is in stable condition, and is being held in the ITU.
Gafà held a press conference in the wake of the incident, which left Theuma in a critical condition, in which he emphasised that there were no signs of foul play and that there were no indications the police could have reasonably prevented what happened.
Theuma’s injuries, he said, were consistent with self-inflicted wounds. There were no signs of a struggle in Thuema’s Swieqi apartment, no indication of any defensive wounds, and no one in or around the apartment block – including the officers providing Theuma with 24-hour protection – heard any commotion.
- Theuma’s injuries consistent with self-inflicted wounds: no defensive wounds could be seen and there were no signs of a struggle.
- No commotion was reported by Theuma’s neighbours or by the police officers stationed outside his door.
- Theuma told Inspector Keith Arnaud that the injuries were self-inflicted, in the presence of paramedics.
- Police officers stationed to defend Theuma from outside threats.
- Gafà insists that there is no need for a Joint Investigation Team, but states that the Malta Police Force and Europol are nevertheless working hand-in-hand on the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder case.
Theuma failed to answer lawyer’s calls
At around 9.13pm, Inspector Keith Arnaud, the chief investigator looking into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, received a call from one of Theuma’s lawyers, Kathleen Grima. Grima had repeatedly try to contact Theuma – who was set to be cross-examined in the compilation of evidence against Yorgen Fenech this morning – but to no avail.
Gafà said that it was not the first time that Grima had called the police after a failure to reach her client, and that the officers stationed outside his apartment would subsequently check whether all was well.
While Theuma lived with his son, his partner and her mother, the three had gone out, though they returned shortly after Grima’s call to Arnaud. His partner accompanied one of the officers as they checked on Theuma, and found him in his bedroom, with a knife in his right hand and with multiple injuries to his neck, abdomen and wrist.
Theuma ‘has right to privacy’
Replying to questions by the press, Gafà said that there was no indication that the police officers offering Theuma protection had failed to carry out their duty, emphasising that their role was to protect him from any outside threats. The police, he confirmed, had no indication that Theuma had received any specific threats.
Gafà also emphasised, on multiple occasions, that Theuma ultimately had a right to privacy: he was ultimately a free man on the strength of the presidential pardon he received to turn state’s evidence.
He revealed that initially, police officers had been stationed inside his home, but Theuma himself expressed himself uncomfortable with the arrangements. Instead, police officers kept guard on the two entrances to the apartment block, and accompanied him wherever he went, with Arnaud kept informed of Theuma’s movements throughout.
The police chief also said that there was no indication that Theuma had any suicidal thoughts.