Rosianne Cutajar was gearing up to present combative amendments to a Council of Europe report demanding a public inquiry into the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia and action on rule of law issues when she pocketed €46,500 for Yorgen Fenech’s attempted purchase of a Mdina residence.
Cutajar was a sitting MP and the government’s representative in the CoE’s parliamentary assembly (along with MP Manwel Mallia) when she helped broker the deal for the €3.1 million home in May 2019.
One month later, Cutajar was within the halls of the CoE fighting tooth and nail to ensure the government’s amendments and vociferous complaints against the damning report are heard. PN MP David Thake has suggested that the fee was related to Cutajar’s backing within the PACE.
Notably, the report noted that Yorgen Fenech, as the Electrogas director, owned the Dubai company 17 Black, which was found to have received large sums of money from an Azeri national.
The government’s amendments included calls for a public inquiry into the case; requests for far-reaching constitutional changes; and complaints that the CoE report was too far-ranging in scope.
Government’s amendments, which were backed by Cutajar and the other sitting PACE members, were shot down. The report passed with 72 votes in favour, 18 against, and three abstentions.
Malta’s government, and its representatives in the PACE, found support from Azerbaijan, the country with a stake in Fenech’s Electrogas project that is also long been linked with alleged corruption in Malta.
Despite attempts to do so, Cutajar and the government failed to nudge the report in their favour.
Roughly a month earlier, Cutajar and her personal aide, Charlie ‘it-Tikka’ Farrugia, pocketed €46,500 each for brokering Fenech’s attempts to purchase a Mdina home for €3.1 million.
A promise of sale had been signed in May 2019 at Portomaso and Fenech had paid a €300,000 cash deposit. The deal fell through once Fenech was arrested in connection to the assassination.
Cutajar has failed to deny claims that she helped broker the deal, which happened well after revelations that Fenech was the owner of the Dubai-based company 17 Black.
She has since published a legal letter telling the property’s owner, who has attempted to recoup the fee after the deal fell through, to take the issue up with third-parties.
She insists she acted in the correct “legal, political, and ethical” manner.
PN Leader Bernard Grech has called for her resignation. However, Prime Minister Robert Abela has remained silent on the issue.
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