Why Newsbook did not publish the Theuma ‘recordings’

On Sunday almost five minutes’ worth of audio from the Melvin Theuma tapes was made public. Some media houses chose to carry the story. We did not. Since you may legitimately be asking why here is our reasoning.

The sound clips give two clear messages: they put in play the cupidity of former Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar and they portray middleman Melvin Theuma as a vacillating and often gullible player. So, the crucial question here is: Who stands to gain?

Newsbook.com.mt has been following the developments in the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia ever since the democratic tragedy happened. We have always been on the forefront and true to our calling of fairness, accuracy, and transparency. We give real-time reportage from the Courts of Law. So, we were there when the media was asked to leave the courtroom when about five hours’ worth of recorded conversations were played in court. Conversations recorded by middleman and state witness Melvin Theuma. Conversations to which those privy are: the participants in the conversations mostly under investigations by the authorities for various serious crimes and their lawyers, the prosecution, the lawyers representing the Caruana Galizia family, the presiding judiciary and the police. Why do they focus on the middleman and on the man responsible for recommending his presidential pardon?

The tapes are over five hours long. Five hours of ‘protection’ and ‘insurance’ which Theuma recorded. No angel he, Theuma knew this would end badly and covered his proverbial by ensuring that if he went down, he would not be alone. This is the same Theuma who, according to the official reports, mauled himself badly because he felt he was not being believed. Why these specific five minutes out of over five hours of recordings? Are these excerpts intended to prey on Theuma’s already fragile nerves, reinforcing his perception that he is not being believed?

Newsbook.com.mt was not convinced of the legitimacy of these recordings, published on a platform rarely used in Malta and consequently traceable only through a directed breadcrumb trail. The snippets published and picked up in Malta were not given a context: if one were to hear them in the totality of the recording, would they still mean the same? Would they still give the same perspective? Who has an interest in getting out of the focus and throwing the spotlight on Theuma? Indeed, who would benefit if Theuma is discredited? How can one be sure that those snippets, brief as they are were not tampered with, edited to get the sentences to say what the Redditor wanted them to say?

Too many questions, too few answers. In these circumstances, with Caruana Galizia already a casualty, she could be dealt another blow through the denial of justice in a deadly power struggle.

Newsbook.com.mt chose not to publish in the interest of truth and justice.