Testifying during the case of former Malta International Airport CEO Marcus Klaushofer who is claiming unfair dismissal from the Malta International Airport, ex MIA CFO Austin Calleja said that towards the end of his term, Mr Klaushofer had been travelling enough to raise suspicions, in particular to Paris. He also said that Mr Klaushofer had distanced himself from the happenings of MIA.
The case is being heard before the Industrial Tribunal, presided over by Chairman Edmund Tabone.
Mr Klaushofer opened the case against the company in January 2015, claiming that he was dismissed unfairly and denied the accusations levelled against him, which was that he had leaked sensitive information. He was also told that his negative relations with then MIA chairman in Vienna Nikolaus Gretzmacher meant that he should vacate his post.
Mr Klaushofer was offered €400,000 to resign, but refused because he felt blackmailed.
During his testimony, Mr Calleja said that in addition to being the CFO, he also occupied the role of Deputy CEO, under Mr Klaushofer.
Mr Calleja spoke of the records which MIA kept of Mr Klaushofer’s travels. He added that in the period between 2014 and 2015, Mr Klaushofer had travelled without any valid reasons.
“I approved the trips, even though I expressed my doubts with his personal assistant,” said Mr Calleja. Further elaborating, Mr Calleja said that Mr Klaushofer had gone to London to speak with Ryanair in the beginning of a series of trips.
“After we paid for a trip to London however, he [Klaushofer] returned to Malta from Paris,” he said. Mr Calleja added that this had awoken his suspicions. He also said that Mr Klaushoffer had flown to Paris on another 2 occasions, which also made him suspicious.
The part which made Mr Calleja the most suspicious however, was when Mr Klaushofer called while on another trip to Paris, and asked him for the “10-year plan” of MIA. He said that this plan had already been agreed upon during a board meeting.
Mr Calleja said that he passed on the plan via e-mail.
He added that Mr Klaushofer gave no reason for requesting the report.
Mr Calleja said that Mr Klaushofer was very distant from what was happening day-to-day within the company due to his travels. He added that previous CEOs would involve themselves much more extensively on the procedures of the company.
The case will continue to be heard on 3 March.