The Malta Independent 13 August 2022, Saturday

Keith Schembri, Yorgen Fenech to be charged over Melvin Theuma’s phantom job

Tuesday, 28 June 2022, 13:40 Last update: about 3 months ago

Keith Schembri and Yorgen Fenech are among five to be charged over a phantom job given to Melvin Theuma, according to reports published on Tuesday.

Nationalist party media arm NET News reported that Schembri and Fenech – along with former OPM customer care head Sandro Craus, former family ministry private secretary Anthony Mario Ellul, and the former CEO of a government company Anthony Muscat – will be charged with theft and misappropriation of public funds in connection with the case.

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Melvin Theuma, the self-confessed middleman in the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, had testified in court that he had received a phantom job from the government – a phantom job being a job where one does not need to report for work but gets paid regardless.

The details emerged in one of Theuma’s first court testimonies, back in December 2019.

Theuma testified in court that Yorgen Fenech, who is accused of masterminding the murder of the journalist, 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 Maintenance Co Ltd which falls under the Family Ministry.

 

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