Yorgen Fenech offered PN money to stop David Casa’s re-election, middleman claims

The middleman in the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder, Melvin Theuma, tells the public inquiry that Yorgen Fenech had offered money to stop David Casa’s re-election

Yorgen Fenech offered the PN money to stop David Casa's (inset) re-election to the European Parliament last year
Yorgen Fenech offered the PN money to stop David Casa's (inset) re-election to the European Parliament last year

Yorgen Fenech had offered money to the Nationalist Party to stop David Casa’s re-election as MEP, Melvin Theuma told the public inquiry into Daphne Caruana Galizia’s muder.

Theuma was testifying on Wednesday about his knowledge of Dubai company 17 Black, which belonged to Fenech.

Theuma who acted as the middleman in the murder, said Fenech told him PN MEP David Casa had picked on him over 17 Black.

"Yorgen Fenech told me that he had offered money to the PN not to elect David Casa [ostensibly in the European Parliament election]. But I never asked him what was wrong about 17 Black,” Theuma testified.

At the time, Casa had been piling pressure on the United Arab Emirates to cooperate with European jurisdictions on investigations into 17 Black, which was registered in Dubai and also had a bank account at Noor Bank.

READ ALSO: With 17 Black on his mind, David Casa chooses EP’s Arabian Peninsula delegation

Today's testimony confirms the claim made by now PN MP David Thake last year during a Xarabank debate with Adrian Delia.

The debate took place in June 2019, just after the PN took a drubbing at the European Parliament election and Delia faced calls for his resignation.

Thake, who was not an MP at the time, had accused the PN of being too close to Electrogas shareholder and 17 Black owner Yorgen Fenech, alleging that he had offered €50,000 to some PN official to make sure Casa is not re-elected.

READ ALSO: Missed The People vs Adrian Delia on Xarabank? Here’s the cheat sheet

Casa was eventually re-elected to claim one of two seats won by the PN.

Delia responded that he was unaware of this, telling Thake to file his report with the police.

The incident provoked a rare public statement by Fenech, who denied the allegation, describing it is “a figment of Thake’s imagination”, and “a lie”.

At the time, there was no public knowledge of either Theuma’s or Fenech’s involvement in the Caruana Galizia murder, although investigators were trying to pin down Theuma.

Theuma was arrested in November 2019 in an anti-money laundering operation, spilling the beans on the murder while in police custody.

Fenech was arrested a few days later as he tried to flee the island on board his yacht.

Theuma was granted a presidential pardon to tell all and he has testified in the compilation of evidence against Fenech, and three men charged with the murder.

He has also testified in the public inquiry tasked to determine whether the State did enough to protect the journalist and prevent the murder from happening.

READ ALSO: Electrogas power station investor Yorgen Fenech named as 17 Black owner

Casa says he will continue working to ensure justice is served

In his reaction to the latest confirmation, Casa said that Yorgen Fenech’s ownership of 17 Black could only be revealed after his intervention with the Dubai bank that held his accounts.

"Such accounts were frozen following my action. If there have been any attempts by Yorgen Fenech to silence me, these attempts have clearly failed. For the past four years, I have been working tirelessly to ensure that the corruption and money laundering cases revealed by the Panama Papers and Daphne Caruana Galizia are investigated and those involved are prosecuted. Since Daphne Caruana Galizia was murdered, I never wavered in working to ensure that justice is served," Casa said.

Casa forms part of the European Parliament Bureau and is Malta’s highest ranking MEP.

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