Former Parliamentary Secretary Rosianne Cutajar has been officially asked by the owner of an Mdina property to refund €89,000 paid to her and her aide Charles Farrugia for their role in a deal that was meant to see the property sold to Yorgen Fenech, the man accused of masterminding the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia.
Last month it was revealed that Fenech had paid a commission to the pair, in cash, €31,000 of which went to Farrugia, with the remaining €9,000 passed on to Cutajar. Cutajar is alleged to have pocketed a further €46,500 from the same deal, this time from Camilleri.
Camilleri has now moved to file a judicial letter in court, with a view to retrieve his money through the courts.
The deal, for which a promise of sale was signed in May 2019, would have seen Fenech purchase the Mdina property for the sum of €3.1 million. It eventually fell through when Fenech was arrested in November 2019 since he was unable to complete the transaction.
The house was eventually bought by Fenech’s uncle Ray, albeit at a significantly reduced price.
Camilleri had paid Cutajar his share of the fee shortly after the promise of sale on the property was signed, on the condition that it would be returned should the deal fall through. This did not happen, Camilleri claims, despite repeated attempts to contact Cutajar and Farrugia by phone, message and email.
In his judicial letter, he calls on the pair to refund the money within two days, adding that he reserved the right to take legal action, but only once Standards Commissioner George Hyzler has completed an investigation into the case.
The Standards Czar was asked to investigate the matter after details of the deal were made public. The investigation has not yet been concluded, but given that the law on Standards in Public Life prohibits the Commissioner from investigating any matter that is the subject of separate proceedings, Camilleri has opted to delay any further legal action in order to allow the Commissioner to continue his work “unhindered and in a serene and calm manner”.
The judicial letter was sent to interrupt prescription and prevent the case from eventually becoming time barred.
Cutajar had temporarily resigned her post as Parliamentary Secretary as a result of the revelations. Prime Minister Robert Abela has refused calls to sack Cutajar, insisting that he would wait for the outcome of the Commissioner’s investigation before taking any action.
She has not denied her role in the deal, but she does dispute Camilleri’s claim for a refund.
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