Updated 6pm

Melvin Theuma, the suspected middleman involved in the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, was formally granted a presidential pardon on Monday. 

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat had signed a letter in which he committed himself to recommending a pardon for Mr Theuma, provided the information he provided about the October 2017 assassination was corroborated.

After the lawyers of the two sides resolved legal technicalities over the weekend, the pardon was formally approved by President George Vella on Monday afternoon. 

Mr Theuma is believed to have provided sufficient evidence to the police to back his claims so far. 

In a statement, the Office of the Prime Minister said the aim of the pardon is to establish all the "facts" that Mr Theuma was privy to in connection with the murder as well as other crimes he had been involved in.

The pardon is subject to a number of conditions which necessitate the full cooperation of Mr Theuma. The pardon may be retracted and action will be taken against the middleman if he fails to observe the conditions imposed, the OPM said.

The Prime Minister said he had sought advice from the Attorney General and the Commissioner of Police before recommending the pardon to the President. 

"The Prime Minister has taken this important step to resolve Daphne Caruana Galizia's murder."

Sources however told Times of Malta that as of 6pm, Mr Theuma had yet to receive a copy of the presidential pardon. 

According to court records, Mr Theuma, a taxi driver from Birkirkara, has been previously implicated in loan sharking. Investigators also say he ran a lucrative illegal lottery that ran parallel to the official national lottery. 

The suspect had requested to receive immunity in the form of the pardon on all past crimes, before giving evidence.

He was arrested on November 14 during a raid that targeted an alleged money laundering ring that the man forms part of. 


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