Government breaks disciplinary code to boost re-election of Rabat mayor

Craus facing charges connected to journalist’s assassination


The Office of the Prime Minister has instructed one of its agencies, Projects Plus, to retain disgraced Rabat Mayor Sandro Craus on its payroll despite the company’s disciplinary guidelines requiring suspension.

Sandro Craus is facing criminal charges over the misappropriation of public funds in connection with the phantom job given to Melvin Theuma, the fixer of Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination.

Craus has not been suspended from his taxpayer-paid position at Projects Plus and is still receiving his €65,000 a year as a Business Development Officer — a job he was given on Prime Minister Robert Abela’s direct instructions.

According to Project Plus’s code of discipline, seen by The Shift, an employee facing criminal procedures is immediately suspended from work:

“An employee may be suspended by the company in writing during the course of investigations and/or disciplinary proceedings and/or criminal proceedings if his/her retention, in the ccompany’s opinion, is in conflict with his/her duties and responsibilities in the company.”

When The Shift asked James Camenzuli why he did not adhere to his company’s code and suspend Craus, the government-appointed CEO said he was “following instructions”.

Meanwhile, Camenzuli, a close associate of disgraced former minister Konrad Mizzi, is also facing criminal procedures and was arraigned in court last week following the VGH/Steward magisterial inquiry.

Like Craus, Camenzuli is still receiving full pay from the agency and has not been suspended.

Sandro Craus was put on the OPM’s payroll as soon as Labour was elected to power in 2013 and was disgraced former prime minister Joseph Muscat’s Head of Customer Care when he coordinated a phantom government job for Melvin Theuma.

Court proceedings show that Craus had arranged an appointment for Theuma to meet Keith Schembri at Castille. Afterwards, he accompanied Theuma to the social affairs ministry to make arrangements for a full-time government job. In court, Craus denied the charges.

The Shift is informed that Robert Abela decided that Craus should re-contest the local council elections on the Labour ticket despite internal pressure that he should have been suspended from the party, at least until criminal court procedures were over.

“We could not understand Abela’s reasoning, especially since many others have been treated differently on less serious issues, such as Rosianne Cutajar,” a member of the PL Executive told The Shift.

During the last weeks, Craus’s re-election attempts were even boosted by government officials, including Prime Minister Abela’s sister-in-law, Alison Zerafa Civelli, who organised a press event to boost the Rabat mayor’s publicity.


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Steve Borg
Steve Borg
18 days ago

Yet, as soon as gahan makes a small blunder, he or she are suspended! Yet gahan insists in voting for this lot!

S. Camilleri
S. Camilleri
18 days ago

Even a wind vane is more consistent than this depressing PM.

18 days ago
Reply to  S. Camilleri

But he is consistent , in protecting criminals.

18 days ago

If ever proof was needed- here it is. The MLP IS a band of criminals. It says a lot about the brainless twerps who keep on voting for this gang.

16 days ago

corruption rules the day.

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