Keith Schembri and Yorgen Fenech are among five people who are to face theft charges over a phantom government job given to the middleman in the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder.

The chief aide to the former prime minister and the businessman accused of complicity in the murder are expected to be charged with theft and misappropriation of public funds, according to legal sources.

They will be joined in court in September by former OPM customer care head Sandro Craus, former family ministry private secretary Anthony Mario Ellul and Anthony Muscat, the ex-CEO of a government company, who face similar charges.

Police last week issued a vague statement saying that several people were to be brought to court after the closure of a magisterial inquiry and investigations by the anti-money laundering squad. 

The statement said that five people were to be charged with theft by a public official but did not give any further details.

It is understood that the case was assigned to Magistrate Monica Vella on Monday. 

The names were first reported on Tuesday by Net News, the media arm of the Nationalist Party. 

A job, and a murder

It relates to a phantom job given to Melvin Theuma, who was the self-confessed middleman in the murder of journalist Caruana Galizia in October 2017.

He claims he arranged the assassination on behalf of Fenech, a major businessman involved in the Electrogas power station deal Caurana Galizia was investigating at the time of her murder. 

Yorgen Fenech allegedly called Melvin Theuma to let him know he would be given a government job. Photo: Mark Zammit CordinaYorgen Fenech allegedly called Melvin Theuma to let him know he would be given a government job. Photo: Mark Zammit Cordina

Theuma has been granted a pardon in connection with the murder of Caruana Galzia on the condition that he reveals everything he knows and that his evidence is corroborated. 

He was employed by the State-owned Housing Maintenance and Embellishment Co Ltd five months before the murder took place. 

He testified in court that he was given the job by Schembri and Craus, receiving a cheque every month but never actually reporting for work. The payments stopped after the 2017 election. 

After initially saying that Theuma's name was not among the Public Service employment records, former Principal Permanent Secretary Mario Cutajar confirmed that the taxi-driver had been given a role in the state-run company. 

The charges follow police questioning of the men involved and searches at JobsPlus offices where they seized documents relating to the investigation. 

Orders from Schembri

During an interview, Muscat, the CEO of the company under the remit of the Family Affairs Ministry that hired Theuma, said he had done so after pressure from Schembri. 

Under questioning, Craus made similar claims that he was only obeying orders, according to police sources.

Sandro Craus claims he was only following orders. Photo: Matthew MirabelliSandro Craus claims he was only following orders. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

According to Theuma's evidence in court, Fenech informed him that he was due to receive a call from Craus who told him about the job shortly after Schembri had taken Theuma on a tour around the Office of the Prime Minister.

According to Theuma, Craus directed him to the offices of the Family Affairs Ministry, in Palazzo Ferreria, and told him that a certain Tony Muscat would be meeting him. 

After a two-minute interview, Theuma was told the job as a messenger/driver was his, despite his insistence that he was already a taxi driver and did not need a new job. 

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