Prime minister’s brother-in-law receives direct order for unspecified legal services

One TV CEO made Chair of the National Orchestra


Prime Minister Robert Abela’s brother-in-law, Albert Zerafa, has been handed a direct order to provide legal services to Malta Strategic Partnership Projects Ltd, better known as Projects Malta.

According to data published in the Government Gazette, Projects Malta, also linked to fraudulent deals such as the Vitals/Steward hospitals’ concession, gave Zerafa, the brother of Abela’s wife Lydia, a €9,500 retainer for unspecified legal services.

Under public procurement rules, direct orders can only be issued for values under €10,000, with anything over that being subject to a public tender process.

Projects Malta already has the services of leading law firm Ganado Advocates, which calls into question why Albert Zerafa was needed at all.

Zerafa has also benefitted from various other roles and contracts since his brother-in-law became prime minister.

He was made board secretary of Malta Government Technology Investments Ltd, and in 2022, he was given a tender to act as one of the Housing Authority’s lawyers.

Last year, following the removal of veteran Bormla MP Chris Agius from his cabinet, Abela promoted his wife’s sister, Alison Zerafa Civelli to the government’s executive, as parliamentary secretary responsible for local councils.

Non-stop partisan appointments

Meanwhile, Culture Minister Owen Bonnici has appointed Ruth Vella Micallef, the CEO of the Labour Party’s ONE TV, as the new chairperson of Malta’s National Orchestra Limited. The appointment comes after Sigmund Mifsud was fired last year due to a case of sexual harassment, still pending in court.

Ruth Vella Micallef with Jason Micallef and Randolph Debattista, PL CEO

While Bonnici was informed directly by the alleged victim of harassment, he only took action after the story was reported in the media, leading to widespread outrage.

It is not known what expertise the ONE TV head has in relation to the local classical music scene.

Ruth Vella Micallef is married to Carlo Micallef, the son of former Labour minister Freddie Micallef, who was made CEO of the Malta Tourism Authority in 2022.

Micallef’s cousin, Jason Micallef, also a former chairman of ONE TV, is the chairman of the Valletta Cultural Agency.


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paul pullicino
paul pullicino
1 month ago

Guess what the first rule in vocational guidance became nowadays. Yep, join the party.

1 month ago

A Pawlu Lia replacement in the pipe-line?

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