Magistrate orders investigation into former police chief Lawrence Cutajar

The magistrate hearing the compilation of evidence against murder suspect Yorgen Fenech has ordered the police to investigate Lawrence Cutajar over allegations that he tipped off middleman Melvin Theuma on a money laundering probe

Former police commissioner Lawrence Cutajar is under formal investigation
Former police commissioner Lawrence Cutajar is under formal investigation

Lawrence Cutajar is formally under investigation after a magistrate ordered the police to look into court testimony that shows how the former police chief tipped off middleman Melvin Theuma on active investigations.

The order was given by Magistrate Rachel Montebello on Monday evening at the end of a day-long compilation of evidence sitting in the Yorgen Fenech case.

The court ordered that Cutajar be investigated over testimony given by Theuma that he had received information from the police commissioner over ongoing investigations into money laundering.

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The court acceded to a request made by lawyer Jason Azzopardi that was agreed to by Fenech’s defence.

"I wanted to ask you to consider formally ordering the police to take criminal steps against Lawrence Cutajar for a breach of the Criminal Code in at least two crimes and the Police Act in at least 10 crimes. I am not addressing the court as a compiling court, but as a magistrate. After what we have heard today, I cannot but make it," Azzopardi said.

The court said that it had already informally asked the prosecution whether the allegations made by Theuma about Cutajar were being formally investigated and had received a positive reply.

For this reason, the court said it was formally ordering the Police Commissioner to investigate Lawrence Cutajar.

Inspector Keith Arnaud had said that the police were already investigating Cutajar.

Although the police have always insisted that all allegations being made in court about different people are being investigated, this is the first time that Cutajar’s name has been formally associated with an investigation.

According to testimony given by Theuma and this evening by his confidante, Edgar Brincat, known as il-Ġojja, Cutajar had informed the middleman that he was under investigation for the murder of Caruana Galizia and also the subject of a money laundering probe.