The Malta Independent 14 April 2024, Sunday
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Council of Europe publishes report on Rosianne Cutajar’s breach of ethics

Friday, 29 April 2022, 17:31 Last update: about 3 years ago

The Committee on Rules of Procedure, Immunities and Institutional Affairs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has approved and made public a report on a complaint against Maltese MP Rosianne Cutajar, concerning a breach of the Code of Conduct for members of the Parliamentary Assembly.

It was previously made known that the Committee found that there was a "serious breach of the rules of conduct" by Rosianne Cutajar, however the report had not been published.

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The former Parliamentary Secretary was investigated over two breaches. "The first concerned Cutajar's failure to submit her declarations of interests to the Assembly since 2018. With regard to the first part of the complaint, the committee decided on 2 November 2021 that the failure by Cutajar to submit a declaration of interests since 2018 for four consecutive years constituted a minor breach of the Code of Conduct. The examination of this aspect of the case was closed and the Speaker of the Maltese parliament informed accordingly."

"As to the second alleged breach, the signatories of the complaint further contended that Cutajar was widely reported to have been involved in a property deal of Fenech and to have received money for that transaction, and this before the Assembly debate held in June 2019 on "Daphne Caruana Galizia's assassination and the rule of law in Malta and beyond (...)The complainants maintain that Cutajar should have made a declaration about the contact she had had with Fenech, and that in failing to do so she had committed a breach of Articles 7 (respect for the values of the Council of Europe), 8 (resolution of conflicts of interests) 2 and 9 (disclosure of conflicts of interests) of the Code of Conduct for members of the Parliamentary Assembly.

In November 2019, Yorgen Fenech was arrested, detained and charged with being the mastermind behind the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

In its report, the committee concluded "that by failing to mention before the Assembly a professional relationship she had had with a person mentioned in the explanatory memorandum, Cutajar committed a serious breach of the articles of the Code of Conduct. With regard to the payment of a sum of money that Cutajar accepted from Fenech in connection with a real estate transaction, the committee ruled out any discussion of this matter because there was no way to establish whether the payment had been made for the speech she delivered to the Assembly or for promoting some interest or other. Lastly, the committee also took into account the fact that the range of sanctions listed in the Code of Conduct cannot be applied in this case because Cutajar is no longer a member of the Assembly. It was therefore proposed that further consideration be given to the impact that a finding of a violation of the Code of Conduct against a former member would have, including in the event that he or she were to re-join the Assembly at a later date."

Read the full report here.

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