The Malta Independent 26 May 2024, Sunday
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PM chooses to protect Rosianne Cutajar, not Malta’s reputation – PN

Tuesday, 5 October 2021, 09:53 Last update: about 4 years ago

Prime Minister Robert Abela kept former parliamentary secretary Rosianne Cutajar as Malta’s representative on the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe for six months in spite of her facing an investigation into an alleged breach of the code of ethics, the Nationalist Party said in a statement.

Now that the Rules Committee has indicated that next month it will take steps against Cutajar, Abela “has tried to stop the procedures against her and protect her against any condemnation”.

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It was announced on Monday that Energy Minister Miriam Dalli has replaced Cutajar in the Council of Europe’s parliamentary assembly. Cutajar was one of three Maltese MPs to form part of the assembly.  She is accused of breaching ethics when she derided a report by Dutch MP Pieter Omtzigt, in which he had referred to Yorgen Fenech and 17 Black. The complaint came after revelations that Cutajar was involved in a failed property deal with Fenech, raising the prospect of a conflict of interest. Cutajar had not declared her relationship with Fenech, who is also accused of being a mastermind in the killing of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

The PN said that the change was done in secret and this was to protect Cutajar, rather than Malta’s interests. Abela acted on political convenience, and not conviction, seeing that Cutajar risks a decision that could derail her political career.

Abela has known for months that Cutajar was under investigation on a possible breach of ethics, but took action only after it became clear that the committee will proceed against Cutajar. For the past six months Abela allowed Cutajar to continue representing Malta and tarnish Malta’s reputation, the PN said.

The Commissioner for Standards in Public Life had also concluded that she had breached the code of ethics, but in spite of this the government, in particular Justice Minister Edward Zammit Lewis, had continued to protect her before the parliamentary committee on standards in public life.

All this shows that when Abela speaks of good governance he does not really mean it, as he continues to protect an MP who was found guilty of breaching the code of ethics, the PN said.

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