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It is our duty to question

Melvin Theuma Malta
One of the police cars that arrived at the scene on Tuesday night.

Picture it. A slit throat that does not permit you to speak. Severe abdomen wounds and slashes to the wrist.

It would have been enough to kill any one of us but the result of his condition, even if stable, is that he cannot speak.

Yet, his first priority is to reassure us all he did this to himself. I cannot even recover from a migraine that fast, and the last thing I want to do is explain myself to anyone.

The Times of Malta reports today that Melvin Theuma wrote a note saying that he had stabbed himself multiple times “out of remorse and because his evidence in the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia was being doubted”.

For a man who has lived a life of crime, he seems extremely fickle. That is not said to underestimate the pressure he must be under, but let’s not forget that the pressure is coming from those around him – some who are still unnamed, let alone investigated for their part in the crime of killing a journalist, brutally, to silence her.

These people are not in the dock and they are still pulling the strings.

It is our duty to remain sceptical and to question, no matter how many letters Theuma writes. For someone in his condition, it’s strange that writing letters is a priority over his recovery.

Why have we not had a forensic analysis yet? All we have so far is a rushed police statement that was more about crisis management than informing the public of what really went on that night.

The statement that determined the wounds were self-inflicted was issued before Theuma had even arrived at the operating theatre. There has been no communication since then by the police commissioner to reassure the public that their findings were correct.

But we have Theuma writing letters to convince us of that.

It is not enough. The police must provide the evidence to prove their assessment was right. That evidence must be made public because it can then be checked by others who can give insight on whether it is valid and satisfactory.

On top of that, none of this absolves the police from their negligence in allowing a State witness in a major case to end up in a situation in which he cannot speak, at a critical juncture in his testimony.

“Where in the European Union do you see a witness in a situation like what happened three days ago? It is obscene,” Reporters Without Borders spokesperson Pauline Adès-Mével told the public inquiry on Friday referring to Theuma’s stabbing.

We must continue to ask questions.

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