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Education Minister’s Partner Still Pocketed €15,000 Contract Prime Minister Said He Was Rescinding 

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Daniel Bogdanovic, the former footballer in an intimate relationship with Education Minister Justyne Caruana, was paid the full €15,000 for a dubious contract that was supposedly rescinded by Prime Minister Robert Abela. 

An analysis by The Shift News into direct orders from the Education Ministry confirmed that he was paid a €15,000 three-month contract to visit government schools and draft recommendations on how to improve the national sports school’s ability to produce elite athletes. 

When the contract was first revealed in March, Prime Minister Robert Abela said he scrapped the controversial deal “as soon as [he] found out about it”. However, it appears that Bogdanovic still received the total sum.

Bogdanovic was an elite athlete in his own right, playing for the likes of Barnsley, Sheffield United and Blackpool in his prime. However, his contract with the Education Ministry raised eyebrows given his lack of pedagogical qualifications and his personal relationship with the Minister. 

Caruana was hospitalised soon after the initial reports, following claims of tensions within the ministry due to the revelations.

Bogdanovic has continued working within the Ministry since the initial revelations, with sources detailing how the pair have been seen together in and around the ministerial building, working on the same floor. They have even accompanied one another to school visits. 

He is now Caruana’s partner after she separated from former Assistant Commissioner Silvio Valletta.

Caruana was reinstated to the Cabinet in November 2020 following a reshuffle. She had returned after being ousted at the start of the year following her now-estranged husband’s links to the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. 

Valletta has been implicated as a major leak in the investigation. He has been named as the source of information on crucial details like Caruana Galizia’s whereabouts in the lead-up to her murder and the imminent arrests of the three hitmen after the assassination. 

Media reports and court sittings have revealed that have had an intimate relationship with main suspect Yorgen Fenech. He held dinners with Fenech and went abroad with him on at least two occasions. Meanwhile, there exists a video of Valletta “fooling around” in Fenech’s Rolls Royce.

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Julian is the Editor at Lovin Malta with a particular interest in politics, the environment, social issues, and human interest stories.

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