Police are looking into a 30-year relationship that may involve illicit activity between ex-police commissioner Lawrence Cutajar and Edwin ‘Il-Gojja’ Brincat, the close confidante of Melvin Theuma, the middleman-turned-state-witness in the Daphne Caruana Galizia assassination.
Cutajar and Brincat’s relationship stretches back to the late 1980s. The pair first crossed paths while Cutajar was an officer stationed in Birżebbuġa. They would develop a closer relationship when Cutajar was moved to Marsa, where Brincat ran a betting shop.
Sources have suggested that an illicit relationship between the pair has existed since then, with the exchanging of bribes allegedly commonplace. Police sources said they are focused on looking into the claim.
Cutajar insists that he only knew Theuma “by sight” as an associate of Brincat. Sources explained that Theuma and Brincat worked together in the underground betting scene. Theuma has been confirmed to have still been operating the scheme when he was arrested in November 2019. He was also a confirmed loan shark.
It is not the first time Cutajar and bribes have been linked to the case. He allegedly even features “hundreds” of times in uncorrupted tapes found on Theuma’s devices.
Main suspect Yorgen Fenech’s legal team have claimed that the tapes clearly show Theuma discussing how he allegedly bought and negotiated his pardon for €17,000.
Previous reports have revealed that in a tape recorded in the weeks before his arrest, Theuma tells Johann Cremona, who is also Fenech’s business partner, about the bribe. Lovin Malta has since detailed how Theuma also claimed Cutajar informed him which police departments had files on him.
In the recorded tapes, Theuma allegedly says that he had given €15,000 to Edwin‘il-Ġojja’ Brincat, his close confidante who also has a 30-year relationship with Cutajar, for the bribe.
He also allegedly reveals that he plans to pay back Brincat in packs of €5,000. Cutajar and Theuma have denied the claim.
The ex-police commissioner has since been placed under criminal investigation by Magistrate Rachel Montebello following revelations that he could have leaked information from the investigation to Brincat.
Cutajar has confirmed that he met with Brincat to inquire about potential recordings between Theuma and main suspect Yorgen Fenech without informing the investigation beforehand. Brincat has revealed that he immediately informed Theuma that the police were aware of the tapes following the meeting.
He insists this was done with the sole intention of obtaining Theuma’s recordings.
Beyond allegations, there is circumstantial evidence heavily linking Cutajar to Brincat and potential criminal activity. Mobile phone data has confirmed that Cutajar contacted Brincat the day before the latter was set to testify in the case against Fenech.
Cutajar was present during interrogations of several key figures in the case, including Theuma, in November 2019. He was also involved in negotiations for Theuma’s pardon, along with then-Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and then-Attorney General Peter Grech.
Cutajar was removed from his post as Police Commissioner earlier this year. However, he was granted a consultancy job with the government soon after. He has since been suspended from that post pending investigation.
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