Additional reporting by Tim Diacono
Melvin Theuma, the suspected middleman in the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, has testified that he met up with Keith Schembri and was given a government job a few days after he informed Yorgen Fenech of the price he would have to pay to murder the journalist.
Testifying in court today, Theuma said that Fenech told him sometime before the 2017 general election that he wanted to kill Caruana Galizia because she was going to publish information about his uncle Ray Fenech.
He said Fenech asked him whether he knew Alfred Degiorgio, to which Theuma replied that he did. Two days later, Theuma met Degiorgio at Busy Bee and Degiorgio said he wanted €150,000 for the murder, with €30,000 up front.
One or two days after informing Fenech of the price, Fenech called Theuma up to tell him to expect a call from Sandro Craus, the head of customer care at Castille. Craus informed Theuma that he had a meeting with Keith Schembri and Theuma met up with the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, in what was his first ever visit to Castille
No details of this meeting have emerged so far but Theuma told the court that Craus informed him that he had been given a government job.
“I never even went into work… I have no idea what my job even was,” he said.
Theuma said he received three or four monthly cheques from Castille, but this stopped two months after the 2017 election.
Questioned by prosecuting inspector Keith Arnaud, Theuma says no one else had spoken to him about the murder and that, as far as he knows, Fenech was the mastermind because he had paid him.