Prime Minister Robert Abela will not take action against Junior Minister Rosianne Cutajar until after an investigation by the ethics commissioner, following her controversial role in a property brokering deal.
Abela, speaking to the Times of Malta, said he won’t make a decision until after all the facts are determined.
Standards Commissioner George Hyzler has been formally asked to investigate a deal in which Cutajar pocketed €46,500 in undeclared cash for brokering the sale of a luxurious Mdina home for Yorgen Fenech, the main suspect in the Daphne Caruana Galizia assassination.
A promise of sale was signed that May at Portomaso, with Fenech paying a €300,000 cash deposit. Rosianne Cuajar and her personal aid Charlie ‘it-Tikka’ both pocketed the brokerage fees. However, the deal fell through after the arrest of Fenech in November 2019.
Opposition Leader Bernard Grech has called for her to resign or step down, warning that this highlights the culture of impunity in the country.
Cutajar did not deny receiving the fee and insisted she acted “legally, ethically, and politically”. She also published a legal letter sent to the property owner Joseph Camillieri, who is allegedly chasing the Junior Minister to repay the fee. It says that if Camillieri had any issue with repayment it would have to be taken up with third-parties.
The letter was written by lawyer Edward Gatt, who is also representing Keith Schembri is numerous criminal investigations as the former Prime Minister’s chief of staff.
Cutajar was serving an MP at the time of the deal and had not been appointed as Parliamentary Secretary for Reforms. However, she was preparing to present government complaints against a damning report from the Council of Europe that demanding a public inquiry into Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder.
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