The VAT number of Melvin Theuma, the middleman involved in the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, is registered on the business address of his friend and confidant Edgar Brincat, known as ‘il-Ġojja‘.
A car dealer by profession, Edgar Brincat, sometimes mistakenly referred to as Edwin, is the owner of Brincat Auto Imports and recently testified in the compilation of evidence against Yorgen Fenech, who is being charged with acting as the mastermind behind Caruana Galizia’s assassination.
The relationship between Brincat and Theuma is a close one – described by one of the lawyers in the case as that of a “father and son”.
Theuma, who brokered a presidential pardon in return for collaborating with the police, has his VAT number registered on the address of Brincat’s car showroom in Pieta.
It was Brincat who warned Theuma that the police were investigating him after he visited former police commissioner Lawrence Cutajar to ask a favour on a fine he wanted struck off, according to court testimonies.
In the compilation of evidence against Fenech on Tuesday, it emerged that Cutajar told Brincat that the police were investigating Theuma in relation to Caruana Galizia’s murder and asked him to get more information from the middleman. He also asked Brincat where Theuma had kept the recordings of the conversations he had with Fenech.
The former police commissioner is now subject to a formal inquiry after a magistrate ordered a police investigation into claims made by Theuma that Cutajar had given him confidential information about an ongoing investigation into money laundering.
Brincat also told the court that Theuma was feeling the pressure of his involvement in Caruana Galizia’s murder to the extent that, one day, he called him up and told Brincat he needed to speak to him.
When he turned up at Brincat’s house, Theuma spilt the beans and told him he was involved in the murder case. Theuma was worried that he would be caught out because the Degiorgio brothers, who are being charged with Caruana Galizia’s assassination, were thinking of confessing or getting a presidential pardon.
When asked by prosecuting inspector Keith Arnaud whether he had a lawyer, Brincat said he was scared of lawyers because of politics. He was “offered a lawyer tal-Labour” but refused, saying that he wanted someone like Simon Busuttil, Jason Azzopardi, or Karol Aquilina – who are lawyers involved in the Nationalist Party.
Brincat told the court that Theuma’s behaviour changed from then on – from that of a happy man to one who had become obsessive and worried. Theuma had told him that he wanted the presidential pardon and was ready to spill the beans to the police.
The extent of the guilt and fear shouldered by Theuma in the months before his arrest in November was a focus of reports on his testimony in the public inquiry investigating Caruana Galizia’s murder. Theuma said his life ended that same day that Caruana Galizia was killed with a car bomb that had been placed under her seat on 16 October 2017.
This comparison angered the family of Caruana Galizia, who are still fighting for justice almost three years after her assassination. Her sister Mandy Mallia called Theuma out on social media for being selfish:
“A self-confessed go-between in Daphne’s #assassination, who has shown no remorse for his part in ending my sister’s life, other than for how it has affected him personally.”