A report into an ethics breach by Labour MP Rosianne Cutajar will be published today after Parliament’s Committee on Standards in Public Life agreed to its full publication.
Cutajar was accused of pocketing some €46,500 for brokering a Mdina property deal involving Yorgen Fenech, the man accused of murdering Daphne Caruana Galizia. The deal fell through in 2019 after Fenech was arrested and charged with conspiring to murder Caruana Galizia.
At the time, Cutajar was a PL MP and Fenech had already been outed as the owner of 17 Black, the Dubai-based company linked to alleged government corruption. She is believed to have kept the money, while failing to declare it.
As per law, the Standards Commissioner only passes on reports to the committee if he finds behaviour he considers illegal, unethical or constituting abuse of power.
This morning Opposition MPs Karol Aquilina and Therese Comodini Cachia presented a motion for the immediate publication of the voluminous report presented to the committee last week by Standards Commissioner George Hyzler.
Government MPs Glenn Bedingfield and Edward Zammit Lewis did not object to the motion.
Speaker Anglu Farrugia set an appointment for next Monday to discuss the report in more detail and for Hyzler to be asked any questions.
Hyzler has since recommended that the entire property transaction should be investigated under the suspicion that the fee was paid in undeclared cash.
Yesterday Cutajar lashed out at Hyzler’s report, and said she planned to stay on as an MP as well as contest the next general election. She had been made to resign her position as Parliamentary Secretary for Reforms when Hyzler began his investigation.
The parliamentary committee can now choose to admonish Cutajar, pass the report on to the police commissioner or anti-corruption commissioner, demand a public apology, or recommend that Parliament takes other measures it deems fit.
The committee is made up of two members of the Opposition and two from government. The Speaker has a casting vote, but in the most recent deadlock, he refused to use his casting vote.
What do you think the committee will decide?