The Malta Independent 13 December 2019, Friday

Justice Minister says he was ‘shocked’ by photo of Melvin Theuma and Keith Schembri

Neil Camilleri Monday, 2 December 2019, 17:29 Last update: about 10 days ago

Justice Minister Owen Bonnici said Monday he was "shocked" when he saw the photo of middleman Melvin Theuma posing with former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri.

The photo was taken inside the Office of the PM. A photo of Schembri and Prime Minister Joseph Muscat can be seen in the background.

Speaking to journalists outside Parliament, Bonnici said he was "obviously concerned" about the photo. He said he was shocked and believes that the entire country was shocked by it.

Theuma, who allegedly acted as the middleman between the masterminds and the murders, has been granted a presidential pardon to spill the beans on all those involved in the crime.

The Justice Minister said he did not want to comment directly about the ongoing investigations.

Asked whether Keith Schembri was still being investigated, Bonnici said he was informed that investigations into all involved persons were continuing. "All person that should be investigated are being investigated," he said.

Asked by The Malta Independent whether he was interested in contesting the upcoming Labour leadership election, Bonnici said he is only interested in seeing the PL move forward.

He said the government has to honour the mandate entrusted to it by the electorate.

Asked whether he believes the PM should resign immediately, Bonnici said the country is losing with Muscat's resignation. He said leaders of Muscat's level "are born once every 25 years."

The choice now is whether to resign immediately or ensure that there is an orderly succession, he said. "If we were in Opposition, the leader could have possibly resigned with immediate effect. But when you are in government you need to have an orderly succession. Since this process will be carried out in the shortest time possible, I prefer this second option."


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