Keith Schembri, Yorgen Fenech expected to face charges over Melvin Theuma phantom job

Schembri and Fenech are amongst five people expected to faces charges over Theuma's phantom government job

Former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri (left) and Melvin Theuma (Photo: Times of Malta)
Former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri (left) and Melvin Theuma (Photo: Times of Malta)

Fromer OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri and murder suspect Yorgen Fenech are amongst five people that are expected to face charges in the near future over the granting of a phantom government job to Melvin Theuma.

The other three individuals are former head of customer care at OPM Sandro Craus, private secretary Anthony Mario Ellul and former CEO Anthony Muscat.

The news was hinted at in a police statement last week, which announced that five individuals would be charged with theft in public office after the conclusion of a magisterial inquiry and investigation by the police, but stopped short of identifying the individuals concerned.

The story was broken by Net News earlier today, which identified Schembri, Fenech and Craus as being amongst the accused.
It was later revealed that private secretary Anthony Mario Ellul and former CEO Anthony Muscat will also face related charges.

The case is understood to have been assigned to Magistrate Monica Vella.

Melvin Theuma, who was granted presidential pardon in exchange for turning State witness, has explained his role in the Caruana Galizia murder in court under oath, describing how he had arranged the assassination after being instructed to do so by Yorgen Fenech.

Theuma had testified to having been gifted an employment contract with the Housing Maintenance and Embellishment Co Ltd on 1 May 2017, for which he had drawn a salary despite never actually turning up for work. Theuma had visited the Office of the Prime Minister before being given the job, together with a tour of the OPM office. He also took a photo with Schembri on that day.

Craus had told Theuma to go to the Social Policy Ministry office on Republic Street and speak to Tony Muscat. The middleman turned up at Palazzo Ferreira the next day where he was given the job after a five-minute interview and in spite of him stating that he did not need another job.

Theuma had testified to having been given the job by Schembri and Craus, and to have been receiving a monthly cheque,  despite not reporting for work. 

The date of Theuma’s employment coincided with disgraced former prime minister Joseph Muscat’s announcement of a snap election and Theuma had told the court about Fenech having phoned him to request that the murder plot be suspended, in view of the election.