36 public officials facing criminal proceedings get suspension lifted

In an extraordinary move, 36 public officials suspended on half pay in recent years while facing criminal proceedings had their suspension lifted and given back their full-time jobs and full-time pay even though criminal proceedings were still ongoing.

The reason for this unexpected decision is unclear, even though its timing coincides with next June’s MEP elections.

Information on this decision emerged in parliament last week following questions raised by PN MP Albert Buttigieg.

When asked how many public officials have been suspended from their jobs since 2020 and put on half pay until their criminal procedures are over, Prime Minister Robert Abela said that these amounted to 121.

Answering an additional question, Abela revealed that 36 officials had their suspension recently lifted even though criminal proceedings were still ongoing.

The Head of the Public Service, Tony Sultana, refused to reply to questions about why the suspension was lifted and whether this decision was implemented indiscriminately for all public officials in the same situation.

Sultana, appointed by Prime Minister Robert Abela, also did not answer questions about who made this recommendation and if its timing had anything to do with the upcoming MEP elections.

According to long-established rules in the public service, officials who face criminal charges in court are automatically suspended and put on half-pay until court procedures are concluded.

If the public officials concerned are not found guilty, they are reinstated and receive the portion of their salary that was deducted.

On the other hand, if found guilty, the Public Service Commission would start procedures to terminate their engagement.

Over the past few years, exceptions have already been made. Gozo Ministry Director General Vicky Xuereb and two other officers, Joseph Cuschieri and Joseph Xuereb, were not suspended as required when they were arraigned in 2022 in relation to the involuntary homicide of a Gozo Ministry employee due to negligence, unprofessionalism and breaches of health and safety rules.

 

Instead, Permanent Secretary John Borg wrote to the Public Service Commission recommending an “exception” as the officers concerned were “exemplary” in their work.

The Commission rubber-stamped Borg’s recommendation.

Rabat Labour Mayor Sandro Craus is facing a series of criminal charges filed in 2022, including misappropriation of public funds and the granting of a fake government job to Melvin Theuma, the middleman in the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galiza.

Craus was kept as a full-time employee of an OPM agency – Projects Plus – on a salary above €65,000 a year.

His boss, CEO James Camenzuli, could not explain why he didn’t put Craus on a half-pay suspension as required by rules.

                           

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makjavel
makjavel
1 month ago

This government collects votes from CRIMINALS. No wonder robbing a bank and leaking state security information and washing dirty money is the business of the day at Kastilja.

paul pullicino
paul pullicino
1 month ago

During the run up to June we are going to see every type of vote buying exercise by the idiots who think they have a thousand year Reich.

Joseph
Joseph
1 month ago

Meta tara b’ghajnejk li in-nies kollha tal-Public Service ” ic-civil” kollha jitilqu mix-xoghol fil-hdax ta’filghodu u wara xighol iehor jew kacca u nsib. Hekk sewwa u tal-privat iridu iaghmlu it-tmin sighat kuljum jekk mhux wara il hin ukoll. Serq f’wicc il-poplu. X’jirrendi dan is-serq jahasra. Jahsbu li kollox jghaddi mar-rih. Kemm sejrin zball. Jiena haga nghid li ahjar wiehed jirrejalizza li min jaghmel xogholu u dawk li ma jaghmlux, ma jigri xejn fil-hajja!!! Mhux ta’b’xejn tisma certu mard li ma konniex nisimghu bhalu. Il-haxixa kiena u d-droga bla qis. Fejna sejrin b’rasna. Dan kollu jigri ghas skapitu ta bniedem o ohrajn lininqabdu fil-kriminalita.

Anne R. key
Anne R. key
1 month ago

The reason for their criminal proceedings being suspended is very simple – they are all Lejper lackeys, that’s why…….!

Caroline Muscat
Admin
1 month ago
Reply to  Anne R. key

Criminal proceedings were not suspended but they were reinstated anyway. That is the point.

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