Inquiry into Melvin Theuma stabbing still ongoing almost two years on

Almost two years since Melvin Theuma, the state witness in the Daphne Caruana Galizia assassination case, was found in his home stabbed and severely wounded, the public remains without answers because the magisterial inquiry hasn’t been concluded yet, according to the police.

On 21 July 2020, hours before he was due to appear in court, Theuma was found in his Swieqi home with severe injuries, including a slit throat and several stabs to his abdomen. Questions regarding the motive promptly surfaced.

The Shift followed up by sending questions to the police to learn of any progress made, but the reply was that the magisterial inquiry is still ongoing, some 21 months later.

The lag in investigations and magisterial inquiries in Malta is notorious. In 2020, a parliamentary question revealed that there were a total of 113 magisterial inquiries unconcluded at least six years after they were launched (from 2014 onwards). The European Commission has also raised concern over the lack of efficiency in Malta’s justice system in its rule of law reports.

“Serious challenges remain as regards the efficiency of the justice system, in particular the length of court proceedings, the impact of the low number of judges and the digitalisation of justice,” it had said. The 2021 report had highlighted that delays were further exacerbated by the pandemic and by a “relatively low number of judges and magistrates”.

A statement by the police that same night of Theuma’s stabbing had said, “the first indications show that it was self-inflicted”. Members of the public had questioned the speed with which the police had arrived at their conclusions, with foreign forensic experts also telling The Shift that conclusions on whether his injuries were self-inflicted could not have been drawn before Theuma had even arrived at the hospital.

The next day, in one of the few media crime briefings to date, Police Commissioner Angelo Gafa laid out why and how the police had come to the conclusion that Theuma’s wounds were most likely self-inflicted, while not completely ruling out foul play.

In court, Chief Police Inspector Keith Arnaud said Theuma had told him, in the presence of paramedics, that the wounds were self-inflicted. The Times of Malta had also reported that Theuma had told the inquiring magistrate, through a handwritten note, that there was no third party involvement and that Theuma ‘stabbed himself’ because his evidence in the murder case was being doubted.

Such a vacuum of information in the findings of investigations also stands in stark contrast to other EU member states, where police give frequent press briefings and updates on cases, especially high profile cases. In Malta, magisterial inquiries are, as a rule, hidden from public view, unless leaked.

Theuma, who was given a presidential pardon to reveal all he knows about the assassination of Caruana Galizia, provided evidence in the form of recordings of conversations with numerous people,  the majority of which were with prime murder suspect Yorgen Fenech.

After recovering from his injuries, Theuma went back to court in February 2021.

                           
                               
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KLAUS
KLAUS
24 days ago

What an incompetent police force!
ROBBER Abela has got the right clown as police commissioner in Angelo Gafá. 

A sad staircase joke of Maltese history. So awful and shameful.

Joseph
Joseph
24 days ago
Reply to  KLAUS

Please, the Police Farce is deliberately incompetent!

Alexander
Alexander
24 days ago
Reply to  KLAUS

I am still baffled by how people thought Angelo Gafa was fit for purpose!!!

Or give him a chance etc…I said from day one. Angelo Gafa will never ever deliver for the good of the country.

Franco Galea
Franco Galea
23 days ago
Reply to  Alexander

Konrad Mizzi returned from exile the day Gafa was announced. Enough said.

Manuel Mangani
Manuel Mangani
24 days ago

Why is there no mention of the fact that, subsequently to the incident, Mr. Theuma was examined by a consultant psychiatrist who, after some time, concluded that Mr. Theuma was fit to testify?

Caroline Muscat
Admin
24 days ago
Reply to  Manuel Mangani

Because that does not negate the need for answers on what happened.

Manuel Mangani
Manuel Mangani
24 days ago

No, but it does throw some light on possible answers.

James
James
24 days ago

As everyone tries to join up the dots, what really baffles me is that the EU’s Moneyval and Venice Commissions, the independent inquiry into Daphne’s assassination, the FATF and the US State Department have ALL condemned the Maltese government and its institutions and agencies for their failures to deliver justice and uphold the rule of law.

But nothing changes and nothing will change as long as the money streams which fund these criminal excesses to continue are allowed by the international community to continue pumping money into the economy.

Stop the money flow and the grip on power by those identified by the international agencies will quickly be weakened and maybe tongues will start wagging as to who knows what about whom as they start to think about buying their own freedom by sharing the truth with these international agencies?

Isn’t that how the criminals’ minds are meant to work?

carlos
23 days ago

Mafia land – wake up gafa’ – shame on you.

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