Civil Society group Repubblika has reiterated calls for Parliamentary Secretary for Reforms Rosianne Cutajar to resign following continued revelations concerning her relationship with Yorgen Fenech, the main suspect in the Daphne Caruana Galizia assassination.
“It is evident from what has been reported in recent months that Rosianne Cutajar had a relationship with Yorgen Fenech which is unacceptable and incompatible with her role as a Cabinet member. It is now also clear that her relationship with Yorgen Fenech also influenced Rosianne Cutajar’s conduct as a Member of Parliament,” Repubblika said in a statement.
According to revelations from the Times of Malta, Cutajar pocketed over €46,500 for her role in a Mdina property deal involving Fenech. A further €9,000 was handed to her directly from Fenech.
At the time, Fenech had not yet been charged in connection to the assassination but had already been outed as the owner of 17 Black, the Dubai-based company linked to alleged government corruption.
The deal relates to Fenech’s attempts to purchase a Mdina home for €3.1 million in May 2019. When Fenech was arrested in November 2019 for the assassination, the deal fell through. However, the pair had already been paid for their role in the deal.
One month after pocketing the fees, Cutajar was within the halls of the CoE fighting tooth and nail to ensure the government’s amendments and vociferous complaints against the damning report are heard. PN MP David Thake has suggested that the fee was related to Cutajar’s backing within the PACE.
Notably, the report noted that Yorgen Fenech, as the Electrogas director, owned the Dubai company 17 Black, which was found to have received large sums of money from an Azeri national.
The government’s amendments included calls for a public inquiry into the case; requests for far-reaching constitutional changes; and complaints that the CoE report was too far-ranging in scope.
Government’s amendments, which were backed by Cutajar and the other sitting PACE members, were shot down. The report passed with 72 votes in favour, 18 against, and three abstentions.
Malta’s government, and its representatives in the PACE, found support from Azerbaijan, the country with a stake in Fenech’s Electrogas project that has long been linked with alleged corruption in Malta.
“This was the only speech she made in the years she spent representing Maltese Parliament in Strasbourg. Her speech was made a few days away from the day Yorgen Fenech paid her for arranging him to buy a property in Mdina.
“[She] was obliged to declare a conflict of interest due to her relationship with Yorgen Fenech, who was one of the founders and the Chief Executive of the company with Maltese shares in Electrogas.”
“Rosianne Cutajar used her parliamentary vote to hide the truth about what Yorgen Fenech did and did so without declaring her intimate involvement with Yorgen Fenech,” they said.
Prime Minister Robert Abela has backed off taking a decision on the matter, leaving the issue in the hands of the Standards Commissioner.
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