Former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri had sent one of the prime minister’s security officials to “calm down” murder middleman Melvin Theuma, police were told last week.
Kenneth Camilleri, a member of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s security detail, admitted during police questioning that Schembri sent him to speak to Theuma some time in 2018.
Camilleri was a security official between March 2013 and January 2019, before taking up a job at Transport Malta.
Camilleri told police last week that prior to meeting Theuma, he had no idea that the task of “calming” him was linked to journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder. He said he believed Schembri’s instruction could have been related to “something politically-related”.
Camilleri also told murder investigators that he was later instructed by Schembri not to approach the middleman anymore.
Investigators have yet to take any action against Schembri over his suspected role in leaking information that hampered and endangered the murder investigations into Theuma and suspected mastermind Yorgen Fenech.
It is unclear why the police only called Camilleri in for questioning now, as investigators were informed last year that he admitted during a closed-door session of the Caruana Galizia murder inquiry that he had met Theuma on Schembri’s request.
Camilleri’s admission last week contrasts with what he had told police under questioning in November 2019, when Muscat was still clinging to power.
In the days after Fenech’s arrest on murder charges, Camilleri answered with a flat “no” when asked by investigators if Schembri had ever sent him to meet the murder middleman. He had also told investigators he got to know Theuma through Johann Cremona, an associate of Fenech suspected to have played a role in the murder cover-up.
Cremona had accompanied Camilleri to the meeting with the murder middleman.
Theuma told the court how in his first encounter with Camilleri in April 2018, he urged the PM’s security man to help the Degiorgio brothers obtain bail. The brothers and Vince Muscat were arrested in December 2017 in connection with the murder plot.
Theuma had testified how upon learning of the bail request, Camilleri walked away to make a phone call. Theuma said he “assumed” the call was to Schembri.
Schembri denied any role in the murder or ensuing cover-up.
Fenech, who also denies the murder charges, had initially tried to pin the murder on Economy Minister Chris Cardona. He told investigators he did so after receiving a “script” from Schembri via their doctor Adrian Vella.
Fenech changed his version of events after he was denied a pardon for the murder in exchange for testimony against Cardona.
After the rejection, Fenech claimed Schembri was the real murder mastermind. Cardona too denies any role in the murder.