Melvin Theuma “prayed” that then-minister Chris Cardona would take the fall for the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia so that he would not be made a state witness.
Speaking in court today, Theuma explained that in the weeks leading up to his arrest on 14th November 2019, Yorgen Fenech’s business partner Johann Cremona said that Cardona would be interrogated over the murder.
“I prayed to God that it would be pinned on someone else like Cardona and I would not need to ask for a pardon,” he told the court.
“How could Vince Muscat get the pardon? I never spoke to Muscat! I had a greater chance of the pardon because I had recordings that would reveal the mastermind,” he added.
Recordings played in court seemed to confirm the detail – with Cremona discussing the detail in a recording taken between three to four weeks before Theuma’s arrest.
“What a mess,” Theuma replied in the recordings. However, he told the courts that any references to Cardona came from Cremona.
Cremona had previously told Theuma that Cardona even had two middlemen in the murder plot. Theuma has claimed that Cremona had also repeatedly told him to tell police upon his arrest that George and Alfred Degiorgio had told him the murder was contracted by Cardona.
Lovin Malta has previously reported how Anthony ‘Il-Biglee’ Chetcuti was named as another potential middleman between Cardona and suspected triggermen Alfred and George Degiorgio. Theuma has even claimed that either Fenech or Cremona (Theuma forgot who) showed him a photo of Chetcuti.
Theuma even detailed a financial relationship between Cardona and Degiorgio, suggesting he used Chetcuti to pass on payment. Meanwhile, Degiorgios’ brother Mario had told Theuma that Cardona paid them €350,000 to kill Caruana Galizia.
However, Theuma said he cannot state under oath that Cardona was involved as his information came from third parties. As far as he can tell, the sole mastermind was Yorgen Fenech, because he had told him to put the murder plot in motion and had paid him €150,000 to pass on to the Degiorgios.
Cardona, who was subject to a suspected frame-up attempt between Fenech and Keith Schembri, has also denied all claims, dismissing the allegations as hearsay and a plot to frame him for the murder.
However, Vince Muscat has also linked Cardona to a 2015 plot to kill Caruana Galizia, while George and Alfred Degiorgio also named him as being involved in the murder and a 2010 HSBC heist.
Meanwhile, Cremona, who is not under investigation for any involvement in the assassination plot or attempts to cover it up, has hung over this case like a shroud.
It has already been revealed that there exist several recorded conversations between Theuma and Cremona – where the pair discuss leaks from the police force, Theuma’s imminent arrest, and Muscat’s attempts to secure a pardon. Cremona was even the one who discussed Raymond Aquilina’s involvement in the arrests.
Lovin Malta recently revealed that Cremona tried to convince Theuma into leaving Vince Muscat without funds and in the arms of a legal aid lawyer to prevent him from speaking up about key players in the assassination plot. Cremona had also assured Theuma that the Prime Minister and police were “on his side”.
What do you think of the detail?