[BREAKING] Middleman’s recordings show Fenech paid €450,000 for Caruana Galizia assassination

Recordings of conversations between Tumas magnate Yorgen Fenech and middleman Melvin Theuma reveal that €450,000 was paid for the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia

Yorgen Fenech was secretly recorded on the phone by Melvin Theuma
Yorgen Fenech was secretly recorded on the phone by Melvin Theuma

The Malta Security Services had been tapping the phone conversations of Tumas magnate Yorgen Fenech and an alleged middleman in the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia for over a year.

Sources close to the investigation told MaltaToday that the MSS had been tapping Fenech, arrested last week after attempting to escape from Malta in his luxury yacht, and taxi driver Melvin Theuma, for at least a year now.

The police have also examined conversations secretly recorded by Theuma on his mobile phone with Yorgen Fenech.

The recordings have already been placed in the hands of a magistrate.

The recordings allegedly reveal that Fenech paid the three men who carried out the execution of Caruana Galizia, the sum of €450,000, through Theuma.

Some of the recordings were taken by Theuma when the taxi driver would be in conversation with Fenech about the aftermath of the assassination, most specifically when the three accused – George Degiorgio, Alfred Degiorgio, and Vincent Muscat – were being refused bail by the courts.

Police have not as yet retrieved any names of third parties from these mobile phone recordings.

MORE • After Fenech’s arrest: businessman-gone-rogue or the Mafia stamp?

But Fenech has told police that it was the chief of staff of Malta’s prime minister, Keith Schembri, who was the mastermind behind the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Still police sources who spoke to MaltaToday say they are treading with caution on the claims: some versions have been said to have not been corroborated or indeed contradicted by facts.

Schembri yesterday was given police bail to spend the night at home, but will be called back in for questioning by investigators.

As things stand, both Fenech and Schembri are being treated as suspects in the assassination of Caruana Galizia.

The same sources claim Fenech has provided interrogators with unreliable information already before pinning the murder on Schembri, because the former Tumas director may be attempting to secure leniency from prosecution for his own alleged role in the crime.

The multi-millionaire was also reported to have accused Schembri of organising an escape route for him to Dubai, a week before he was caught on his yacht attempting to flee.

Family doctor Adrian Vella, a friend of both Fenech and Schembri, has also been implicated in the alleged escape plan, to go to Tunisia by boat, then travel to Dubai. But this version of events has been denied by Vella, who claimed the alleged Gozo meeting to discuss the escape was a family meeting intended at discussing the family’s business affairs.

Vella has been questioned by police of having passed messages to Fenech from the former OPM chief of staff last weekend, while Fenech was under police supervision.

[ANALYSIS] Muscat has to step back for his party to avert meltdown