‘They’re laughing at me’, Melvin Theuma tells police in written note

Chief witness in the Daphne Caruana Galizia assassination tells magistrate he felt his evidence was not being deemed credible

Melvin Theuma remains in the ITU in stable condition, almost three days after he was found with life-threatening injuries, which appear to have been self-inflicted
Melvin Theuma remains in the ITU in stable condition, almost three days after he was found with life-threatening injuries, which appear to have been self-inflicted

The chief witness in the Daphne Caruana Galizia assassination, Melvin Theuma, wrote a note from his hospital bed saying he stabbed himself multiple times out of remorse and because his evidence was being doubted.

The Times reported that Theuma had indicated to a magistrate there was no third-party involvement in the incident on Tuesday night, when he was found in a pool of blood with his neck slashed in his Swieqi apartment. It was the eve of a court sitting in which the defence of Yorgen Fenech, the alleged mastermind in the assassination, was bound to attack his evidence in court.

Magistrate Astrid Grima visited Theuma’s bedside on Friday at the intensive care unit of Mater Dei Hospital. But Theuma, who is unable to speak after the incident, excluded third party involvement – he used gestures and a hand-written note to answer her questions. 

Theuma pointed to himself, indicating he was responsible, and, when asked if he had been threatened, he responded with a thumbs down signal, sources say.

He then wrote a note using his right hand explaining two reasons for his apparent suicide attempt. The first was that he felt remorse for his role in the murder of the investigative journalist and the second was that he felt his evidence was not deemed credible.

He used the Maltese phrase “qed jidħku bija” – ‘they’re laughing at me’.

Theuma turned State’s evidence after being granted a presidential pardon in November 2019, shortly after being arrested on a money laundering charge.

Theuma gave police secret recordings of conversations he had with people allegedly involved in the murder plot.

A close-protection officer who provided security inside the house of Melvin Theuma was removed early on in the days that the middleman in the Caruana Galizia assassination turned State’s evidence.

Despite his role as a high-value witness in the assassination plot, the Maltese police accepted to remove the third officer providing close-protection security to Theuma on request of his lawyers, on 5 December 2019 – just two weeks after the arrest of Yorgen Fenech, the alleged mastermind in the assassination.

The police started providing protection services for Theuma since 17 November 2019, with four officers assigned from the Special Intervention Unit and district personnel round the clock

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