Protestors outside the office of Parliamentary Secretary Rosianne Cutajar on Wednesday called for her to resign after revelations of her taking money and gifts from murder suspect Yorgen Fenech came to light.
Activists from NGO Repubblika held banners reading ‘leave’ with images of envelopes filled with cash – a reference to the money she received from Fenech that was never declared in her income declarations to parliament.
The organisation demanded an explanation from Prime Minister Robert Abela as to why she still retains her role, saying the public deserves answers.
Eagle-eyed viewers saw that Cutajar tuned into the live feed of the event broadcast on Repubblika’s Facebook page.
The protest was organised after an urgent Cabinet meeting yesterday over Cutajar’s future, although no decision was announced.
The meeting was called on Monday by Prime Minister Robert Abela as further evidence emerged regarding the nature of her relationship with Fenech. This included her accepting large sums of money and lavish gifts.
Messages were exchanged between Cutajar and Fenech only days before she gave her first and only speech in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, attacking Special Rapporteur Pieter Omtzigt and his report that was key to the launch of a public inquiry in Malta.
In June 2019, in her role as the Maltese delegate in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, she argued that the mention of Dubai company 17 Black, owned by Fenech, was irrelevant to the investigation into Caruana Galizia’s assassination.
Pieter Omtzigt noted that in four years in Strasbourg, Cutajar had done absolutely nothing except for on this one, single occasion. “During four years in Strasbourg, she has done nothing: never co-signed a motion, never asked a question, never written a report, and only given one speech,” he tweeted.
Oh ja, Cutajar viel uit naar mij. Maar in de vier jaar in Straatsburg heeft ze niets anders gedaan: nog nooit een motie mede ondertekend, nog nooit een vraag gesteld, nog nooit een rapport geschreven.
Alleen een keer een speech (4)https://t.co/55USH1ENQY
— Pieter Omtzigt (@PieterOmtzigt) February 21, 2021
Following the recent revelations, Repubblika called for her resignation from both her roles in government and parliament. In a statement on Facebook earlier this week, they said it was “evident” that Cutajar had a relationship with Fenech.
This is “unacceptable and incompatible with being a government minister,” the organisation said, adding that it was clear that her relationship with him influenced her conduct in the exercise of her duties.
When questioned on the matter by journalists outside of Castille earlier this week, she was keen to scuttle into the building, denying that she took money for political influence, but failing to deny that she took his money at all.