The status of the information the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has requested from Malta’s Speaker of the House on a serious breach of rules by Labour MP Rosianne Cutajar remains unknown as the deadline for submission looms.
In March, PACE’s Rules Committee had announced that despite Labour MP Rosianne Cutajar’s resignation as a PACE member, the Assembly would “remain seized of the matter pending the completion of ongoing proceedings in the Maltese Parliament”.
The Assembly is compiling a report following a complaint against Cutajar filed by PACE member Pieter Omtzigt regarding alleged violations of the code of conduct for members of the assembly. In March, PACE voted that there was indeed a serious breach of rules of conduct by Cutajar, when she failed to disclose a conflict of interest in speaking out against a public inquiry into the Caruana Galizia assassination.
PACE seems to be still waiting for Speaker Anglu Farrugia, who has been confirmed for a third term by the Labour Party, to reply. Questions sent to the House by The Shift remain unanswered.
The committee has asked the Speaker – the same one who undermined any action against the Labour MP – to “provide it with relevant information on the procedures before the Committee for Standards in Public Life of the Maltese Parliament, as well as on its timetable, and revert to the matter at one of its next meetings, no later than during the 2022 second part-session of the Assembly.”
The 2022 second part-session will be held between the 25 and 28 April. The Shift is reliably informed that up until 8 April, no documents had yet been received by the committee.
A year ago, Pieter Omtzigt requested that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) “look into” whether the behaviour of Labour MP Rosianne Cutajar was in violation of the code of conduct when she criticised his report on Malta, defending the Electrogas deal, only for her relationship with Yorgen Fenech to later be exposed.
Cutajar had resigned, following a damning report by the Standards Commissioner that concluded she was involved in brokering a €3.1 million property deal involving Fenech. Cutajar was being pursued to return a €46,000 brokerage fee that had already been paid to her despite the deal falling through following Fenech’s arrest in November 2019.