The self-confessed middleman in the murder of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia has admitted to stabbing himself the night before he was due to give evidence at trial, police have said.
Melvin Theuma, who was given a presidential pardon in exchange for revealing details of the plot to kill the investigative journalist, told police and paramedics that his wounds were self-inflicted and that no third party was involved.
He had been found on Tuesday night in the bedroom of his police-protected residence in a pool of his own blood after his lawyer raised the alarm, according to a police statement, which added that he was holding a knife in his right hand.
It said he had suffered "multiple injuries to his neck, kidneys and wrist."
There was no reason provided for the self-harm.
The statement added: "There seems to have been no struggle and the wounds appear not to be defensive ones.
"This evidence also indicates that the wounds were probably caused by self-harm and there were no reports of commotion or break-in."
There was no suicide note nor drugs found on the scene.
The former taxi driver's evidence was expected to mark a pivotal moment in the case to convict Caruana Galizia's killers, who he says he had hired.
He claims that he contracted three men in total to carry out the assassination on behalf of Maltese businessman Yorgen Fenech.
Caruana Galizia, an investigative journalist known for her anti-corruption reporting, was killed back in October 2017 after a bomb was detonated inside her car.
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Three men have since been charged with her murder, while Fenech was arrested on his luxury yacht in November last year and was later charged with participating in a criminal organisation, complicity in causing an explosion, and complicity in murder.
The gambling tycoon has pleaded not guilty to his charges.