Daphne Caruana Galizia murder suspect Yorgen Fenech and the former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat were “very close friends”, the middleman in the assassination has told a court.
“I told Yorgen that they are one and the same and that if I were him I would go to the Prime Minister. They were close friends and had done a lot of business together. He told me that that would be the worst thing to do,” Melvin Theuma said when facing questions on his secret recordings of Fenech.
Muscat has been referenced a number of time as ‘Ix-Xiħ’ (the elderly or wise man) in the recordings. During one of them, Fenech alleged that Keith Schembri told him that Muscat would only help in the pardon request of one of the three men charged with carrying out the murder if there was a 100% chance it would not be linked to him.
Fenech’s relationship with Muscat and Schembri has been under the microscope ever since his arrest and charge in connection with the assassination. The issue even led to Muscat’s resignation in January 2020.
Lovin Malta has even revealed that the three shared a private WhatsApp group between themselves.
The Tumas Group businessman was also invited to Muscat’s exclusive birthday party at Girgenti in 2019, where he gifted the then Prime Minister three bottles of expensive Petrus wine. One of the bottles was a 1974 vintage (Muscat’s birth year), and two of them were 2007 vintages (the year Muscat’s twin daughters were born).
On another occasion in 2014, Fenech handed Muscat a luxury limited-edition Bvlgari watch commemorating Malta’s ascent into the EU. All of the gifts have since shown up on an official registry, which was published almost a month after the allegations first emerged.
A second watch allegedly given to Muscat by Fenech was not listed.
Meanwhile, Fenech also shared a very close relationship with Schembri and has even described it as “fraternal” in court. Schembri has even confirmed under oath that the pair were friends and had also holidayed together on occasion.
Middleman Melvin Theuma has even said that Fenech and Schembri were close, with the former saying in a recorded conversation that he would call Schembri practically every day.
Fenech has claimed that he was fed information on the investigation directly from Schembri and others, including former Deputy Police Commissioner Silvio Valletta, another close associate of Fenech.
The extent of Muscat and Schembri’s knowledge of the murder is as yet unclear. However, the latter remains under investigation for his potential involvement in the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, along with a litany of other offences which include:
Tampering with evidence, leaking extensive information about the investigation, obstructing justice, and acquiring a phantom job for middleman Melvin Theuma