The report being prepared by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on Labour MP and former PACE representative Rosianne Cutajar is usually only “mandatory” when the committee has concluded there is a “serious violation”, a spokesperson told The Shift in reply to questions.
“Such reports are only mandatory if the violation is serious. Consequently, reports are not prepared until the committee decides on the nature of the violation (or even on the existence of a violation at all),” she said.
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.
The spokesperson explained that after the preparation of the report that is currently underway, the next steps of the process will then be to finalise and publish this report, within which the follow-up to the request for information from the Speaker of the Maltese parliament will be mentioned.
On 15 April, The Shift reported that the status of the information PACE has requested from Malta’s Speaker of the House on a serious breach of rules by Labour MP Rosianne Cutajar remained unknown.
In a reply to The Shift’s article, written in a press release, Speaker Anglu Farrugia said, “the information requested by the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on the timeline and proceedings by the Committee on Standards in Public Life regarding Rosianne Cutajar’s case was sent on 18 January 2022”.
On Saturday, the spokesperson confirmed that the Committee had received all the requested documents from the Maltese parliament and that the examination of the complaint has been finalised.
A year ago, Dutch MP 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 be exposed later.
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.
The Speaker had walked out, rejecting the adoption of the report by the parliamentary committee. Cutajar has since been re-elected as a Member of Parliament through casual elections.