Yorgen Fenech had told the police he had given middleman Melvin Theuma roughly €500,000 to cover expenses related to the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, according to statements in court by Superintendent Arnaud.
Earlier this month, Arnaud – the case’s lead investigator – was being cross-examined by lawyers representing Fenech in a Constitutional case he had filed seeking Araud’s removal from the investigation when he revealed the information, which while reported, did not receive the attention one might have expected.
While it has been revealed in court that the three assassins were paid €50,000 each for the murder, the court has also heard how Theuma would regularly pass money on to the accused.
The total amount passed on to the three has never been stated, however, nor is it clear whether the money was paid to them by Fenech.
Don’t think this statement under oath by the Maltese police on 2 June, 2021 that Yorgen Fenech admitted under interrogation to having paid around €500,000 for #DaphneCaruanaGalizia‘s assassination & related matters got enough coverage. pic.twitter.com/9Pr8CoWTuJ
— BugM (@bugdavem) June 21, 2021
During one particular exchange, lawyer Charles Mercieca asked Arnaud to confirm that Fenech had on a number of occasions denied the allegation that he was in any way involved in the assassination.
“Not exactly,” Arnaud replied.
“He denied his involvement, correct?” Mercieca asked again, to which Arnaud again said, “not exactly”.
“In the second part he didn’t exactly deny, he made it clear that he did it for Keith, he said. He did it for Keith,” Arnaud explained.
Arnaud confirmed that Fenech had said that he never wanted any part in the affair and that he had told the police that he had no reason to see Caruana Galizia murdered since she hadn’t named him in relation to 17 Black.
Mercieca continued his questioning and eventually asked Arnaud to confirm that Fenech had denied that he had paid any money for the murder or that he had instructed Theuma to speak to the Degiorgio brothers.
“The bit about the brothers, yes, but the bit about the money, no, because he confirmed how and where he gave them to him. Even afterward, in fact, there’s a question in the notes, how much he paid, and he said it was roughly half a million, give or take,” Arnaud replied.
The superintendent also confirmed that Schembri was in contact with Fenech while he was under arrest and that he had received a draft copy of Theuma’s pardon.
The information was revealed back in January, when Arnaud, responding to questions from Caruana Galizia family lawyer Jason Azzopardi, told the court that a copy of the draft pardon had been found on Fenech’s phone.
Fenech had told investigators that Schembri had sent him the document. He also told the police that he could provide them with valuable information on major corruption scandals Schembri had been involved in.
Shortly after his arrest, Fenech had submitted his own request for a pardon, however, this was immediately denied by the Cabinet.
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