Lovin Malta is exclusively publishing the transcript of the letter which Keith Schembri had allegedly sent Yorgen Fenech through their mutual doctor with instructions to pin the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia on former Economy Minister Chris Cardona.
The doctor, Adrian Vella, has told police that Schembri had given him this letter to hand over to Fenech, but the former OPM chief of staff insisted in court that this was not the case and that he hadn’t given this letter to Vella.
Lovin Malta is publishing the translated transcript of the letter below.
The letter is written in the first person and is meant to be read in Fenech’s voice. Some parts of the letter have been struck through to reflect the parts which were crossed out in the original, allegedly by Fenech. The parts in italics reflect the scribbled writing that was written instead, again allegedly by Fenech. The parts in square brackets are not included in the original letter but have been added for context.
“Melvin told me that CC [Chris Cardona] had instructed Toni, known as L-Iblah, who used to work at his ministry, to let Fredu [Alfred Degiorgio] know that he should start going to Ferdinand’s Bar.
CC f̶o̶r̶c̶e̶d̶ continued applying pressure on Fredu to get rid of dcg [Daphne Caruana Galizia] for him as quickly as possible, so that she doesn’t fuck up the brothel case for him. He made it clear that she must disappear from the scene before the date of the next case [the libel case Cardona had opened against Caruana Galizia after she wrote that he had visited a German brothel], because DCG had requested the call location data of CC’s mobile.
CC had known that he was going to get exposed and found guilty of perjury. This information didn’t reach my ears from Melvin alone. CC had said openly to a number of people at the Stables Bar when he was drunk, and even in court, that he was 100% certain that DCG wasn’t going to be able to testify. He told me this himself at a restaurant in Valletta.
CC, Fredu and Toni used to meet up at Ferdinand’s and spend a lot of time talking both inside and outside the bar, and walking through the street by themselves; sometimes they would even go to a private house after meeting up at Ferdinand’s. For a long time, Toni would always accompany them. David Gatt was the person who would coordinate everything at the potato shed in Marsa and sometimes he would also be with CC at Stable’s and Ferdinand’s.
W̶h̶e̶n̶ ̶C̶C̶ ̶a̶s̶k̶e̶d̶ ̶F̶r̶e̶d̶u̶ ̶h̶o̶w̶ ̶m̶u̶c̶h̶ ̶i̶t̶ ̶w̶o̶u̶l̶d̶ ̶c̶o̶s̶t̶ ̶h̶i̶m̶ CC first promised 300,000 but then Fredu requested a Freeport trade license – that way, he would be able to import cigarettes and alcohol through the black market.
They let me know how things would play out. Fredu had told CC that he had issued a number of licenses of the type he was requesting. He mentioned the case of the license that was granted to Carlo Seychell’s son. After the license was granted, a deal was struck with people high up in the Customs Department through which alcohol and cigarettes that were imported to the Freeport and that were supposed to be exported from Malta ended up getting sold in Malta duty free. Chris agreed to give this license…… AND THE MURDER TOOK PLACE.
After the crime was carried out, Fredu rang up Toni to convene a meeting with CC at Ferdinands the following Sunday. CC didn’t turn up. After a few days, they were caught.
After they were caught, Fredu instructed his brother Mario to tell Melvin to seek out Toni to give CC the message that the promised license should be given to Fredu’s sister.
David Gatt visited Mario and told him ‘now they can take the pledge, go to Cardona and take things too far’ (jdardru l-alla).
Now I’m going to get to my story with Melvin.
Once, I̶ ̶w̶a̶s̶ ̶h̶a̶v̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶a̶ ̶c̶o̶f̶f̶e̶e̶ ̶a̶t̶ ̶P̶o̶r̶t̶o̶m̶as̶o̶ , I was at a lunch on my farm and Melvin was there. H̶e̶ ̶w̶a̶s̶ ̶s̶i̶t̶t̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶d̶o̶w̶n̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶a̶s̶k̶e̶d̶ ̶m̶e̶ ̶w̶h̶e̶t̶h̶e̶r̶ ̶’̶I̶ ̶h̶a̶v̶e̶ ̶s̶o̶m̶e̶t̶h̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶h̶o̶r̶s̶e̶s̶’̶.̶ ̶I̶ ̶t̶o̶l̶d̶ ̶h̶i̶m̶ ̶I̶ ̶h̶a̶v̶e̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶h̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶M̶a̶l̶t̶a̶ ̶a̶t̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶m̶o̶m̶e̶n̶t̶ ̶b̶e̶c̶a̶u̶s̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶r̶e̶ ̶a̶r̶e̶ ̶o̶n̶l̶y̶ ̶t̶h̶i̶e̶v̶e̶s̶ ̶h̶e̶r̶e̶…̶ ̶I̶ ̶h̶a̶v̶e̶ ̶e̶v̶e̶r̶y̶t̶h̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶o̶v̶e̶r̶s̶e̶a̶s̶.̶ ̶H̶e̶ ̶o̶f̶f̶e̶r̶e̶d̶ ̶m̶e̶ ̶a̶ ̶c̶o̶f̶f̶e̶e̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶I̶ ̶s̶a̶t̶ ̶d̶o̶w̶n̶ ̶n̶e̶x̶t̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶h̶i̶m̶.̶
Discussion turned to DCG’s writings. At one point he asked me ‘What is she doing to you? They’re saying things about you’. I remember telling him that she’s getting everyone sick to the core (qazzet zobb kullhadd) – i̶f̶ ̶I̶ ̶c̶o̶u̶l̶d̶,̶ ̶I̶ ̶w̶o̶u̶l̶d̶ ̶b̶e̶a̶t̶ ̶h̶e̶r̶ ̶u̶p̶. He told me ‘don’t worry my friend, you’re strong enough’
A̶f̶t̶e̶r̶ ̶t̶h̶i̶s̶ ̶d̶i̶s̶c̶u̶s̶s̶i̶o̶n̶,̶ ̶I̶ ̶l̶e̶f̶t̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶ ̶a̶ ̶m̶e̶e̶t̶i̶n̶g̶.̶ ̶A̶f̶t̶e̶r̶ ̶a̶r̶o̶u̶n̶d̶ ̶3̶ ̶w̶e̶e̶k̶s̶ ̶o̶r̶ ̶a̶ ̶m̶o̶n̶t̶h̶, I found him waiting for me inside t̶h̶e̶ ̶s̶a̶m̶e̶ a cafeteria at Portomaso and he invited me over for a coffee at ‘P̶o̶r̶t̶o̶m̶a̶s̶o̶ a cafe’ on Table One. He called me over as soon as he saw me arriving to work. We sat down, he ordered me a coffee and told me ‘Listen, my friend, DCG is done… it’s in my hands’. I told him ‘No, no, my friend – I don’t do these things.’
I stood up and left the shop. A few days later, he picked me up in his taxi from the airport.
Melvin told me that ‘I already paid [€]30,000.’ I told him ‘No, no, my friend – stop everything in its tracks because I don’t want trouble’.
Melvin told me ‘As if. Do you think these people will stop? These are very dangerous people and one cannot take them for a ride. I told him t̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶h̶e̶ ̶c̶a̶n̶ ̶c̶o̶m̶e̶ (illegible handwriting) for the 30,000 w̶h̶e̶n̶ ̶h̶e̶ ̶w̶a̶n̶t̶s̶ but he must stop everything because I didn’t want trouble. I̶ ̶g̶o̶t̶ ̶u̶p̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶l̶e̶f̶t̶.
In fact, I gave him 50 [€50,000] from my office that day but I was clear with him. Stop everything.
After a week, I found him waiting near my usual parking space. He came to the car door and told me ‘They don’t want to stop and will keep on going. Give me another 1̶2̶0̶,̶0̶0̶0̶ (100,000). I told him that I̶ ̶w̶i̶l̶l̶ ̶g̶i̶v̶e̶ ̶h̶i̶m̶ ̶3̶0̶,̶0̶0̶0̶ I gave him 50,000 so that he doesn’t end up losing money himself but that I wasn’t going to pay another pound because I had absolutely nothing to do with it.
After the crime took place, I found Melvin near the Hilton roundabout with another car with tinted windows behind him and he told me to bring him 120,000 because there were some people who wanted it.
I told him absolutely not – I had no reason to pay money for something that I had absolutely nothing to do with.
The two cars drove off after each other. I obviously thought about filing a police report but I was scared. In the next week, no one spoke to me and I thought my problems were gone.
However, a week later, they came to visit me again, this time to my house, and I got scared. Melvin had two other people with him, both wearing caps.
He asked me for money once again. He told me to give me 120,000 or else ‘I would go through what she [Caruana Galizia] went through’. I got scared and told him to give me two days’ time. I thought of ways to give him 150,000 and I gave them [in implements] of 55,000, 60,000 and 35,000.
After I paid him, I told him not to approach me again. After a month, I heard that they got caught and I felt relieved.
A few days after they were caught, I once again found Melvin with another person, who I didn’t recognise, at Portomaso. He got out of the car, approached me to my face and told me ‘You ratted them out, you homosexual (pufta)? You just got yourself in more shit’ – I told him I couldn’t rat out people I don’t even know.
Around a week later, as soon as I drove up to Portomaso, he once again came up to me. There was another person who I didn’t recognise with him who raised up his shirt in a manner that signified that he had a pistol. He told me to drive behind him. He drove towards Ħaż-Żebbuġ – once there, he made me open the ranch where my horses are kept, and he walked in after me.”