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MALTATODAY 31 October 2021

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3 maltatoday | SUNDAY • 31 OCTOBER 2021 NEWS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 In it, they accuse Theuma of having been "inconsistent, omits facts, and lies" as high- lighted in a lengthy crimi- nal complaint they filed with the police last week accusing Theuma of perjury. Fenech's lawyers to the Pres- ident insisted that the pardon granted to Theuma on the 25 November 2019, "obliges him to say the truth and nothing but the truth, on everything he knows about the Daphne Caru- ana Galizia assassination." But they write that Theuma not only lied when he alleged that Fenech commissioned the murder, but that he also lied when leaving out important facts, in particular the involve- ment of the actual master- minds and conspirators. The letter highlighted that Fenech categorically denies the allega- tion, stating that he never or- dered or paid for the murder. The defence noted that the pardon to Theuma was also granted on the condition that the information given by the middleman is corroborated. "It is indeed an established fact, that all that Melvin Theuma corroborated, were recordings that he himself took. Today and especially after the pardon, it results that more recordings exist than what was initially revealed by Melvin Theuma to obtain the pardon. These re- cordings were hidden by Theu- ma himself and they give a dif- ferent picture of the facts from that given to the authorities on 25 November 2019." The lawyers had already claimed in the past that the prosecution withheld vital ev- idence, when a series of once deleted recordings had been retrieved by the police. The Melvin Theuma record- ings include conversations he secretly taped of Yorgen Fenech and others, as evidence. Some of the recordings have been played in court during the compilation of evidence. Theuma had revealed that the recordings were leverage against Fenech and his associ- ates, when he feared he would be arrested on money launder- ing charges. "Whilst we are disposed to offer any information neces- sary, all this is being brought forward to you formally, with the biggest respect and rever- ence to your attention in light of what was included in the pardon on the 25 November 2019," the letter concluded. The conversations revealed Theuma's knowledge of details of the police investigation into the assassination, knowledge of Joseph Muscat's chief of staff Keith Schembri's association with Fenech, police collusion, and even advance notice of the presidential pardon. The former chief of staff of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat was very close to Fenech, however Melvin Theuma always insist- ed that to his knowledge, it was only Yorgen Fenech that had commissioned the murder. While the President of the Republic is empowered to give pardons to subjects who, like Theuma, turn State's evidence, these are granted on advice by the Prime Minister. It is unclear what influence Fenech's letter to the President can have, but the defence team last week launched a criminal complaint demanding that the police investigate Theuma on grounds of perjury, a move that could endanger Theuma's par- don. Theuma was granted immu- nity for his involvement in the "aftermath" of the HSBC Balzan branch hold-up in No- vember 2007 and the CasinĂ² di Venezia hold-up at the Birgu waterfront in February 2010, apart from the HSBC head- quarters heist in June 2010. Melvin Theuma was intimate- ly involved with a gang of crim- inals that carried out a series of high-profile robberies 11 years ago. Theuma appears to have played no part in the robber- ies themselves but MaltaToday understands that he may have sheltered the criminals in one of his properties after the inci- dents. When he was granted the presidential pardon in Novem- ber 2019, Theuma was granted immunity from prosecution in the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder and other crimes. Those other crimes include the organisation of illegal lot- teries and money laundering for which he was being inves- tigated at the time of his arrest. 'Theuma lied in court', lawyers tell President

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