Labour MP Rosianne Cutajar has been called to attend “the second and last” meeting at a Council of Europe debating her alleged breach of ethics after she failed to attend a previous meeting.
On 8 September, the Parliamentary Assembly held the first meeting to discuss the alleged breach of code of conduct arising from the conflict of interest held by the former parliamentary secretary for civil rights and reforms Rosianne Cutajar.
Cutajar sent a letter in reply and did not respond to an invite to attend in person. She is now invited a second and last time to the next meeting in which the matter will be discussed once more.
The breach had come to light after her attempts at weakening former Special Rapporteur Peter Omtzigt’s report on the investigation of Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination in Malta, according to discussions held in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
In April of this year, Omtzigt had requested that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) investigate Cutajar’s conflict of interest when she had defended the Electrogas deal while also criticising Omtzigt’s report when it was being discussed.
That same report was what eventually led to the public inquiry and its conclusions, unequivocally condemning the State for facilitating Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination and for enabling private business interests to dominate political decision-making.
The conflict of interest arose from Cutajar’s links with former Electrogas director and the accused mastermind behind Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination, Yorgen Fenech.
Cutajar was involved in the brokerage of the sale of a €3.1 million property in Mdina from which she is alleged to have netted a cut of around €50,000 in cash. Fenech was involved as a buyer who had signed a promise-of-sale agreement, with Cutajar being the main party bringing Fenech’s attention to the property.
Ethics commissioner George Hyzler had submitted a report based on his investigation into Cutajar’s involvement in the Mdina property deal in July of this year. The report, which led to several inconclusive sittings at the parliamentary committee for standards in public life, found prima facie evidence for Cutajar’s role in brokering the sale.
Cutajar had also failed to declare the money she is alleged to have pocketed from the deal in her parliamentary asset declarations. Throughout Hyzler’s investigation, she denied playing a role in the deal as well as pocketing any proceeds from it. Cutajar is also the subject of an ethics investigation through a parliamentary committee.
The next meeting in which Cutajar’s conduct will be discussed at the Council of Europe will be held over three days from 27 – 30 September.