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Malta

Rabat mayor comes under fire over Melvin Theuma phantom government job

Rabat mayor Sandro Craus has told his council colleagues he will not be stepping down after he was mentioned in connection with the phantom government job given to middleman Melvin Theuma.

The latter testified in court today in the case against the three men accused of murdering journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Theuma told the court that Yorgen Fenech, one of the suspected masterminds behind the murder, had told him that he would receive a phone call from Craus.

He said the OPM official had asked him to go to Castille, where Theuma met former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri. The two shook hands and took a photo. Craus then allegedly told Theuma that he had secured him a government job. Theuma said he did not know exactly which ministry he was employed with but never reported for work. He would receive three or four pay cheques every month, nonetheless.

It later emerged that Theuma had been employed as a driver/messenger with an entity that falls under the family ministry, then headed by minister Michael Farrugia, now police minister. His employment started on 1 May 2017 - the day on which PM Joseph Muscat called an early election.

Melvin Theuma leaves the court building under police protection

The head of the Civil Service, Mario Cutajar, first said that there was no record of Theuma's employment but later said the contract had been found and passed on to the police. 

PN sources said the Rabat local council held a meeting this evening, at their request.

Nationalist councillors drew the mayor's attention to the fact that Kenneth Camilleri, a former OPM official who was also mentioned in Theuma's testimony, has been suspended by Transport Malta, where he now works.

When asked if he would be doing the same, the mayor replied that he has "dealt with and helped lots of people as head of customer care at Castille and he never broke the law," the sources said.


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