Caruana Galizia murder | Suspect is loan shark Melvin Theuma, PM will recommend pardon

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has said he will recommend a presidential pardon after suspect reveals what he knows of the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia

Joseph Muscat addressed the press on his way to Castille
Joseph Muscat addressed the press on his way to Castille
PM will recommend pardon in Caruana Galizia murder case

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has said he has signed a letter in which he is committing himself to recommend a presidential pardon, once the suspect alleged to be involved in the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, reveals everything he knows about the case.

The suspect is Melvin Theuma, a taxi driver from Birkirkara who has been previously implicated in loan sharking, according to court records.

“The police have carried out a coordinated operation together with Interpol, where people arrested on a money laundering operation, included someone connected to the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia,” Joseph Muscat said on the steps of Castille, Tuesday morning.

Muscat did not identify the suspect, but said the person had indicated to police they had evidence to corroborate their claims.

He also said the decision to recommended a presidential pardon was his alone. “This will not be discussed or decided in Cabinet. I have a general mandate from Cabinet on decisions such as these, and I will assume political responsibility personally for this decision.”

However, the suspect has requested to receive immunity in the form of the pardon on all past crimes, before giving evidence. “This request was put to me. I have spoken to investigators and the Attorney General, and we agreed that a blanket immunity cannot be given on all this person’s cases, unless all evidence is corroborated in the court of law.”

Muscat said he signed a letter in which he committed himself to the pardon, only once all evidence on the Caruana Galizia murder can be ascertained will be corroborated in the courts of law. “The person has the assurance that… if the evidence will be enough for us to capture the person who commissioned the murder.”

Muscat appealed for prudence on the case, and said he wanted the investigative authorities not to rush until there is solid enough evidence to bring the perpetrators of the murder to justice.

In a statement, Opposition leader Adrian Delia called on the government to make use of all the means at its disposal to bring to justice the mastermind. “The PN calls on the Maltese government to make use of all procedures and means at hand within the law, even those exceptional ones, in order to catch who ordered, financed, and executed the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. The PN publicly thanks and sends a message of courage to the members of the judiciary and investigators involved in the process for justice to be made with Daphne Caruana Galizia, her family and relatives, the journalists who endangered their lives in the search for truth, as well with all Maltese society.”