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Civil Servant Head’s Brother Had 2004 Crime Expunged From Public Online Record

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Court records detailing former Consul Aldo Cutajar’s guilty admission of misappropriating public funds in 2004 have been expunged from public record.

Aldo Cutajar, was earlier charged with money laundering after police discovered €500,000 in cash during a raid on his home and a further $400,000 in a Dubai bank account. He is the brother of Mario Cutajar, the head of Malta’s civil service. Mario Cutajar has denied any wrongdoing.

He served as Malta’s Consul General to Shanghai from 2018 to 2019 despite being interdicted in 2004 for misappropriating government funds. The prosecution for the case was current Police Commissioner Angelo Gafa.

Interdiction prohibits anyone from serving in a public role. However, he was reportedly put back onto the state payroll in 2013, the year his brother was appointed to the role. The opposition is demanding a public inquiry into the issue.

A number of court judgments have been removed from public record in recent years following the introduction of the right to be forgotten in EU law. However, it came under the microscope under Owen Bonnici’s tenure as Justice Minister.

He had controversially revealed that he had authorised the Court’s Director-General to remove online judgements when requested by individuals when he deems fit. In July 2019, Bonnici revealed that 112 judgements had been removed.

It is unclear whether Cutajar’s court record was removed under Bonnici’s tenure or that of his successor Edward Zammit Lewis. MP Jason Azzopardi has claimed it was former.

In a social media post, Bonnici said that he absolutely did not order anyone to remove the online record. He said the decision rests with an independent board composed of five officials, including an appeals board in front of the Commissioner for Data Protection. 

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READ NEXT: Opposition Demands Public Inquiry Into How Official Charged With Money Laundering Was Put On Government Payroll Despite Interdiction

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