The Daily Telegraph

Witness in car bomb trial is badly injured

- By Our Foreign Staff

A KEY witness in the murder of Maltese anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was in a critical condition yesterday after being found with knife injuries to his throat and torso hours before he was due to give evidence in court.

Melvin Theuma, a former taxi driver, was granted a presidenti­al pardon in November to reveal all about the car bomb murder which shocked the Mediterran­ean island in October 2017.

His evidence so far has implicated wealthy businessma­n Yorgen Fenech, the alleged mastermind, who was arrested in late November and accused of complicity in the murder. He is awaiting trial and denies the charge.

“First indication­s are that Melvin Theuma self-harmed but investigat­ions are continuing,” police said, suggesting attempted suicide.

The statement said Mr Theuma was found late on Tuesday in a pool of blood at his residence by officers who were mounting a round-the-clock guard outside.

They were alerted by a lawyer who said he could not reach Mr Theuma by phone.

“We saw no defensive wounds, and even the blood splatter was concentrat­ed showing no signs of a struggle,” said police commission­er Angelo Gafa.

“At no moment did we have any indication­s that he had suicidal thoughts, and so up until yesterday his (police) protection ended at his home door.”

Media reported Mr Theuma’s wounds included serious injuries to his vocal cords and abdomen.

The incident happened hours before Mr Theuma was due to continue to give evidence in a Valletta court.

In evidence so far, Mr Theuma said he has been living in fear for his life.

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