Alex Cutajar, a close aide to disgraced former Minister Konrad Mizzi, has received a €30,000 direct order from a subsidiary of Projects Malta, according to the government gazette.
Viracy, a trading name used by Cutajar who lists himself as self-employed, was paid to “enhance Project Plus’s image and strategy”.
Projects Malta is the government’s privatisation arm, under which several controversial partnerships were established, including the hospitals’ privatisation deal, on Mizzi’s watch.
Cutajar assisted Mizzi in marketing and communications when he occupied various ministerial roles.
He also was one of the individuals who sat on the Malta Tourism Authority sponsorship committee, which disbursed millions of euros to a close-knit group of friends.
Following Mizzi’s downfall due to corruption scandals linked to journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia’s death, Cutajar set up Viracy and Velvet media offering marketing services.
On LinkedIn, he promotes himself as a ‘media strategy guru’ and lists ‘strategy advisor’ to the MTA as one of his most recent work experiences.
Mizzi’s last role was Tourism Minister, following which he was given a contract worth €90,000 on “verbal instructions” from former members of the government. Following public uproar, it was withdrawn.
Working under Mizzi, Cutajar became involved in some of the most questionable deals the government made in recent years. He lists Siemens and Socar in his work experience – two companies linked to the Electrogas deal.
Viracy, which received the €30,000 direct order, does not appear on the Malta Business Registry.
Cutajar states he is also the country director for a marketing company founded in Albania, with contracts in Serbia, UK and Malta.
Event organisers who went before the MTA sponsorship committee seeking contracts had spotted Cutajar among the individuals entrusted with distributing some €6 million of public funds. MTA Chairman Gavin Gulia confirmed that Cutajar sat on the sponsorship committee, when appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
The PAC has been looking into the MTA spending spree, as official documents show that most of taxpayers’ money went to a close group of individuals closely linked to the Labour Party.
The €30,000 direct order was handed to Cutajar’s company in April, and announced in the Government Gazette of 7 August.