The Malta Independent 19 January 2020, Sunday

Police question Keith Schembri on phantom job to Melvin Theuma

Saturday, 7 December 2019, 16:28 Last update: about 2 months ago

Police are questioning former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri in connection with the phantom job given to middleman Melvin Theuma, The Malta Independent has learnt.

Schembri has been summoned to the police headquarters this afternoon. He is accompanied by his lawyer Edward Gatt.

Theuma was granted immunity from prosecution to reveal details in relation to the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. He testified for the first time in court last Wednesday in the case against three men charged with executing the murder.

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During his testimony, Theuma revealed that he had been given a job with the government for which he never turned up but for which he received payment.

Theuma testified in court last Wednesday that Yorgen Fenech, who has since been accused with complicity to murder Caruana Galizia, told him to expect a call from the head of customer care at the Office of the Prime Minister, Sandro Craus, soon after the hit on the journalist was discussed in April 2017. The following day, he testified that he was met on the steps of Castille by Schembri. He had a photo taken of him with Schembri and landing a government job. He told a court he never went to work but still received a monthly salary. 

The principal permanent secretary Mario Cutajar later said that Theuma was employed “after a public call”, and was on the books between May and August 2017 – starting just before the election and terminating a few months later. He had been employed with the government company Housing Embellishment and Maintenace Co Ltd which falls under the Family Ministry.

No details were given as to whether Theuma was interviewed, by whom, and when before being given the "job".

Schembri resigned from the post of OPM chief of staff on 26 November, following which he was held under arrest by the police in connection with their investigations into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

He was released by the police on 28 November, and has not been seen in public since.


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