Labour Party Ian Castaldi Paris has announced that he will not contest the general election hours after news emerged that he would pay a €300,000 bill to tax authorities over unpaid dues.
“In the coming months I will continue to represent my constituents. Although at the end of this legislature I will take a step back from public life, this does not mean that I will no longer do my part to support the Labor Party and move the country forward,” he wrote on social media.
Times of Malta had confirmed that the backbencher was handed a hefty repayment agreement by the tax authorities in recent weeks after several months of talks.
Sources said the MP’s “unexplained wealth” hovered close to €1 million.
Castaldi Paris, however, strongly denied this when confronted with the amounts by Times of Malta.
“I have paid my taxes every year and did not start paying my tax because I decided to contest the elections,” he said.
“I have been an MP since May 2020 and my parliamentary declaration of assets always reflected the truth, so there is nothing to inform the speaker about.”
Castaldi Paris was in the news following revelations that he had referenced purchasing a luxury multi-million euro London property in messages to Yorgen Fenech, the Tumas Group businessman who has since been charged with the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. He insists he was bluffing.
Castaldi Paris was also at the centre of the recent controversy surrounding PL MP and district rival Rosianne Cutajar. Castaldi Paris, a notary, had drafted which implicated Cutajar in a controversial Mdina property deal involving Yorgen Fenech.
In his report, Standards Commissioner George Hyzler wrote that Castaldi Paris’ role “in the affidavit story and its release to the media remains ambiguous at best”.
MaltaToday reported that Cutajar had subsequently messaged Castaldi Paris angrily to say he must have been “dying of hunger” to draft a fake affidavit against his parliamentary colleague.
Castaldi Paris told Hyzler that a person had entered his office to threaten his family if he passed on the affidavit to the authorities, but the MP refused to confirm whether he filed a police report over the threat or not.