Melvin Theuma’s anticipated return to the witness stand has been delayed after the lawyer of the two men charged with the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia refused to cross-examine the state witness without having crucial recordings submitted to the court.
The middleman-turned-state-witness was going to take the stand for the first time since his suicide attempt. However, the sitting was quickly halted by concerns raised by Alfred Degiorgio and George Degiorgio.
Last week, the brothers and their lawyer, Edward Cuschieri, requested that Theuma’s recordings of main suspect Yorgen Fenech be submitted in their compilation of evidence. It has so far only been submitted in the sittings against Fenech.
The court shot down that request, based up Inspector Keith Arnaud’s previous assertions that there is nothing in the tapes relevant to the case involving the Degiorgios and Vince Muscat.
The Degiorgios disagreed, with Cuschieri insisting that they will not cross-examine Theuma until they have all the evidence in their possession. The magistrate told the lawyer that if he disagreed with her decision, he would have to take it up with the constitutional court.
Muscat’s lawyer, Marc Sant, is in isolation and could not attend. He will have up until the next sitting to decide whether he wants to cross-examine Theuma.
The next sitting is on 3rd February at 9am.
Theuma was present in the building, looking healthy. It remains to be seen when Theuma will testify next. However, the compilation of evidence against Fenech continues on Thursday at 9.30am. He has been away from the courts since his suspected suicide attempt in July 2020.
Theuma was given a conditional pardon last year to reveal all he knows about the murder and other major crimes, a decision taken solely by former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.
He has implicated businessman Yorgen Fenech as the mastermind, although he said he also suspected that former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri could have been involved too.
Theuma’s testimony was put at risk following a suspected suicide attempt in July 2020.
His suicide attempt came a day before he was due to be cross-examined by Yorgen Fenech’s defence team in relation to as yet-unplayed recordings he had taken.
The content of these recordings is unknown, but they’re believed to relate to allegations that Theuma could have bribed former police commissioner Laurence Cutajar to secure his pardon.
Lovin Malta recently revealed that police and Fenech’s lawyers are scrambling to get their hands on new recordings where Theuma details the potential involvement of Schembri in the murder.
Well-informed sources have told Lovin Malta that the recorded conversations are between Dutch national Julian Hofstra and Melvin Theuma, which took place sometime towards the end of 2018 and the start of 2019.
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