Yorgen Fenech, the main suspect in the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, paid Parliamentary Secretary Rosianne Cutajar €9,000 for her role in a Mdina property deal in 2019.
The Times of Malta reports that Fenech handed over a total of €40,000 for the deal – €31,000 was given to Charles ‘it-Tikka’ Farrugia, who is Cutajar’s close associate, and €9,000 was given Cutajar.
Cutajar is alleged to have pocketed a further €46,500 from the same deal, this time from the property’s owner. At the time, Fenech had not yet been charged in connection to the assassination but had already been outed as the owner of 17 Black, the Dubai-based company linked to alleged government corruption.
The deal relates to Fenech’s attempts to purchase a Mdina home for €3.1 million in May 2019. When Fenech was arrested in November 2019 for the assassination, the deal fell through. However, the pair had already been paid for their role in the deal.
Cutajar has refused to respond to a request for comment.
The issue is already subject to an investigation from the Standards Commissioner. Times of Malta claim that the property seller has signed a sworn statement confirming the payments.
One month after pocketing the fees, 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 has long been linked with alleged corruption in Malta.
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