Key witness in murder of Malta journalists Daphne Caruana Galizia found with throat cut

The incident happened hours before Melvin Theuma was due to give evidence in the death of Daphne Caruana Galizia.
Image: Police officers stand near the home of Melvin Theuma, who had been granted a presidential pardon to testify against the alleged mastermind behind the assassination of anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, in Swieqi
Police officers stand near the home of Melvin Theuma who had been granted a presidential pardon to testify against the alleged mastermind behind the assassination of anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.Darrin Zammit Lupi / Reuters

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By Reuters

VALLETTA, Malta — The self-confessed middleman in the murder of Maltese anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was in critical condition on Wednesday with knife injuries to his throat and torso, authorities and local media said.

Investigative journalist Caruana Galizia was killed after a powerful bomb blew up a car killing her in Bidnija, MaltaDarrin Zammit Lupi / Reuters file

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

His evidence so far has implicated top 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 in a statement, suggesting attempted suicide.

The statement said Theuma was found late 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 Theuma by phone.

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

In evidence so far, Theuma has alleged he was paid by Fenech to contract three men – currently under arrest - who carried out the car-bombing.

He also described how he has since lived in fear of his life and how he had gone to a seminary for confession.

"My life ended at 3 p.m. on October 16, 2017," he told a magistrate, referring to the time and date of the murder.