Rosianne Cutajar has resigned temporarily as Parliamentary Secretary, despite the fact that Prime Minister Robert Abela tried his best to avoid this happening by shoving all responsibility of judgement on her misdeeds on the Commissioner for Standards in Public life, George Hyzler, to whom I had reported Cutajar.
Not being able to declare openly that, with regards to Cutajar, “il mewġ fil-baħar qiegħed”, Abela did a Pontius Pilate, thus creating the illusion that Hyzler’s conclusions will be earth shattering and will bring Malta’s latest political scandal to a close.
The Malta Independent Editorial today goes as far as to state: “We await the conclusions of the Standard Commissioner’s report, which will put a definitive seal on the issue”.
This will not be so… there will not be any definitive seal.
And I would not be surprised at all that Cutajar will be back in her post as soon as Hyzler releases his report.
Why am I so confident is saying so?
Simple: because the law on “standards in public life” has been deliberately crafted to ensure that politicians like Cutajar will get away with it.
In fact, the Commissioner for Standards has his hands tied.
When they all voted unanimously in favour of this law in 2018, the PNPL MPs ensured they would create a law which prohibits any investigation on any misdeed by any politician or PEP before October 2018.
Joseph Muscat’s Bulgari watch donated by Yorgen, Michael Farrugia’s post-dated inclusion of Mrieħel amongst Highrise areas, Zammit Lewis’s holiday at the Evian Hilton paid for by Tumas cannot be investigated, because they happened before October 2018. All absolved.
And, for the present or future, they put in a twelve month limit from the date of when the misdeed happened (not… was discovered). You either report them within those twelve months or else they get away with murder.
So, I could not report Cutajar for having pocketed €40,000 and €9,000 senserija; neither because she got a Bulgari handbag, expensive gifts and donations for her personal survey nor because she asked Yorgen Fenech to check with the political powers whether she was in with a chance to become a Minister.
I could not, because all these happened over twelve months ago.
So I could only report her because she did not declare the income forthcoming from these activities in her parliament and income tax returns… since this was the only thing that was still within the 12 month limit.
Rest assured: Cutajar will be found guilty of not having declared this income in her returns.
And Hyzler will then send a 100 page recommendation to Parliament for suggested reforms….which will never happen.
But, there will be no condemnation of Cutajar for her dealings with a person she knew to be the owner of 17 Black and a briber of politicians.
Two years ago, parliament unanimously ensured that the backs of the dirty parliamentarians be well covered for past, present and future misdeeds.
Arnold Cassola is a former leader of Alternattiva Demokratika who has held elective and political roles in Malta, Italy and at the European level.
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