The Malta Independent 21 September 2021, Tuesday

Melvin Theuma asked to show proof he owned Mosta flat used as safe house in HSBC heist

Wednesday, 4 August 2021, 14:09 Last update: about 3 months ago

Melvin Theuma has been asked to show proof that he owned a Mosta flat allegedly used in the 2010 HSBC bank heist as a safehouse by the criminals.

Theuma, the self-confessed middleman in the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, made a brief appearance in court on Wednesday to face cross-examination in proceedings against Darren Debono, known as it-Topo. Theuma's testimony in these cases is one of the conditions included in his presidential pardon to tell all on the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder and other cases.

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Debono and Vincent Muscat, known as il-Koħħu, stand accused in connection with the attempted bank robbery. A third person, Fabio Psaila, is facing separate proceedings for the same crime.

In a previous hearing, Theuma testified that on the evening of the Isle of MTV concert in June 2010, he had received a call from Alfred Degiorgio asking him to visit a Mosta flat, which Theuma had rented out to Debono some time prior.

When he got there, he saw Debono lying on a bed in his underpants, blood dripping from his thigh, after being wounded in a shootout with police.

Degiorgio, known as il-Fulu, had told Theuma that Debono had been shot by the police and asked for help to get treatment.

Theuma testified that he had said "OK, OK," and left in a panic.

On Wednesday, Debono's lawyer Edward Gatt, cross-examined Theuma about the Mosta flat, asking whether it belonged to him.

Theuma said that he and a third party had bought two apartments in the block on Anglu Gatt Street, with each taking one flat each.

Theuma had gone for the flat with a balcony and planned on renting it out. The other buyer had chosen the other flat, which he intended to put up for sale, Theuma said.

Theuma was unable to recall the name of the vendor on the deed of sale. The defence lawyer suspended further questioning until Theuma returned with a copy of the contract of sale.

After stepping off the witness stand, Theuma turned back to inform the court that the requested copy of the public deed had been seized by Inspector Nicholas Vella when police raided his home.

Gatt requested the prosecution summon Inspector Vella at the next sitting later this month.

The case continues.

Magistrate Monica Vella presided. Inspector Joseph Mercieca is prosecuting, assisted by AG lawyer Francesco Refalo. Lawyer Marc Sant is assisting Muscat.


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