With four cases focusing on the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia running concurrently, attention remains firmly on the murder. However, with a middleman ready to talk and provide evidence, light is being shed on previously unsolved cases in Malta.
In Melvin Theuma’s secret recordings of murder suspect Yorgen Fenech that were played in a recent court setting, a certain Tat-Tyson was named.
On 21st August 2014, Jonathan Pace, the owner of Tyson Butcher, was shot in the back and head while standing on a balcony in Fgura.
In April of that year, Pace had been accused of shooting Vince Muscat and was out on bail at the time of his murder.
Three years later Muscat was charged with carrying out the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, along with brothers Alfred and George Degiorgio.
In the recorded conversation, Theuma and Fenech were discussing Muscat, who was willing to provide information to investigators in exchange for a pardon, and his then-lawyer Arthur Azzopardi.
Fenech had received information that Azzopardi was able to convince Muscat to speak up by revealing to him that his wife and children were in danger of an “acid attack” along with other intimate details.
At one point, Fenech says:
“Muscat is an idiot. He thinks he’s going to get out and come out and haq ghall-Madonna live the life? And he told the investigators about tat-Tyson. I have no fucking idea who this Tyson is.”
“He said they had offered €10,000 and they gave a discount. They gave him a discount, and they charged him €8,000. He said they were gentleman for doing it!”
“They agreed, ten and they gave it to him for eight. He told them it was because he was nothing special, and they just said yes, ok. You understand?”
Meanwhile, earlier in the recording, Fenech urges Theuma to go apply pressure on “those of Ħaż-Żebbuġ”, believed to be the Agius brothers of Tal-Maksar, and inform them that Muscat was spilling the beans.
“What’s Muscat told them?” Theuma asked.
“Everything haq ghall-Madonna, there are about seven! The only thing he said he wasn’t going to give information is on the HSBC heist because there are people bigger than him.”
Muscat was arrested and charged in connection with an attempted heist of HSBC’s Qormi branch in 2010. The Degiorgio brothers were linked. The masterminds behind the Qormi heist, a €1 million hold-up in 2007 and an attempted hold-up of a security van carrying €2.8 million remain unknown.
Given their murder of Caruana Galizia, there are also questions as to whether the men were involved in the spate of car bombings that occurred in the lead-up to the assassination.
There had been 19 car bombs between 2010 and 2017. With practically all of the victims linked to the criminal underworld, they were often forgotten by the Maltese public while authorities found many dead ends.
The last fatal one was Caruana Galizia. There have been no car bombs since, barring a failed attempt in Fgura, which quickly led to arrests.
Theuma has hinted the men were involved, but nothing is set in stone as of yet.