The suspected middleman who may have been instrumental in setting up the planned assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia has been named as Melvin Theuma.
Theuma, whose name was revealed by MaltaToday, is being offered a conditional presidential pardon if he reveals everything he knows about the case – but who is he, and how is he privy to such information?
Melvin Theuma is a Birkirkara taxi driver with a trail of court cases that accused him of being a loan shark.
He was arrested after an operation held in tandem with Interpol arrested a number of people on money laundering charges, one of which was Theuma.
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has yet to name Theuma, though he said that he has shown police that he had materials to back up his claims to knowing about the assassination.
Theuma was charged with loan sharking back in 2003, when he was 25 years old, with the victim saying Theuma had threatened him and his wife when they couldn’t pay back the money he borrowed, eventually being indebted to four different people just to pay Theuma back.
Muscat has said that he had taken the decision to offer the conditional presidential pardon on his own, without consulting Cabinet.
“This will not be discussed or decided in Cabinet. I have a general mandate from Cabinet on decisions such as these, and I will assume political responsibility personally for this decision,” he said.
Theuma has since requested that he is given immunity by pardoning all of his past crimes before he shares any of his evidence.
“This request was put to me. I have spoken to investigators and the Attorney General, and we agreed that a blanket immunity cannot be given on all this person’s cases unless all evidence is corroborated in the court of law,” Muscat said.