Police are investigating how recorded excerpts of conversations that form part of the evidence in the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder investigation ended up being posted on the online forum Reddit.

Five clips of exchanges between a business partner of murder suspect Yorgen Fenech and Melvin Theuma, who admits arranging the murder, were uploaded over the weekend.

The 20- to 30-second clips were posted by an anonymous account created on Saturday. Publication of the recordings is prohibited by court order.

The clips, which form part of longer recorded conversations, appear to have been selected to raise doubts about former police commissioner Lawrence Cutajar and the process leading to Theuma being given a pardon in exchange for his evidence, which implicates Fenech in the murder.

It is understood the investigation into the leak will be part of a wider probe into the leaks that have characterised the high-profile case. 

The user behind the Reddit account said: “I can no longer bear to be witness to the debauchery taking place before our very own eyes. The Maltese government pardons criminals to spin lies.”

Fenech’s defence team had pushed during a sitting on July 16 for certain excerpts of the Theuma-Cremona recordings to be played in court, catching investigators who were unaware of their existence off guard.

Government pardons criminals to spin lies

Some of the newly-discovered recordings were played in their entirety behind closed doors the following week.

Times of Malta has previously reported how around four hours’ worth of secretly recorded conversations in the summer of 2019 make contradictory references to Cutajar receiving a bribe in exchange for securing Theuma’s pardon.

Both Cutajar and Theuma deny any money changing hands for the pardon.

The report recommending the pardon was drawn up by the lead investigators on the case in November 2019 and passed on to the former commissioner for discussion with the Attorney General.

Former prime minister Joseph Muscat bypassed cabinet to approve the pardon, which was granted in the lead-up to Fenech attempting to leave the island on his luxury yacht.

The latest leak in the investigation will form part of the wider probe into suspicions that key players, including Fenech and Theuma, were being fed information by top officials, including former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri and deputy police commissioner Silvio Valletta.

The former deputy head of the Economic Crimes Unit Raymond Aquilina has also been mentioned in connection to leaks about the money-laundering investigation used as a guise by police to carry out raids on the middleman’s properties in a bid to secure the secret recordings.

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