Tony Debono, the husband of former Gozo Minister Giovanna Debono, has been cleared of charges related to the abuse of public funds.
Debono, who was represented by lawyer Joe Giglio, was charged in 2015 on allegations that he was involved in a works-for-votes operation, through which the resources of the ministry were allegedly being used to carry out works for the benefit of individual constituents. Giovanna Debono resigned from the PN parliamentary group as a result.
Debono was investigated after contractor Joe Cauchi turned whistleblower and accused Debono of tasking him to carry out works for constituents and issuing false invoices for them.
A total of 22 alleged irregular works were flagged during investigations, and these were carried out between 2004 and the 2013 general election.
He was charged with the misappropriation of public funds, fraud, abuse of power, falsification of documents, making false declarations, committing crimes he was duty-bound to prevent and preventing people from giving evidence.
The case has dragged on ever since and today a Gozitan court presided over by Magistrate Neville Camilleri declared that there was not sufficient evidence to find Debono guilty.
Several figures have already commented on the judgement, with PN MP Jason Azzopardi claiming that the incident was a “frame-up” by the Labour administration.
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