Husband of former Pilatus Bank employee testifies in unpaid salary case

The husband of the Pilatus Bank whistleblower says his wife had received some money, but not wages

The offices of Pilatus Bank in Ta' Xbiex (Stock photo)
The offices of Pilatus Bank in Ta' Xbiex (Stock photo)

The husband of the former Pilatus Bank employee, who claimed to have seen documents linking the wife of the Prime Minister to an offshore company, took the witness stand today in a case filed by the Russian woman against the bank.

The woman, known as ‘AB’, is demanding €6044.99 in unpaid wages, statutory bonus, leave and notice money.  Her husband told the court that she never received any payment for the work she carried out at the bank.

He told magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech that to the best of his knowledge, the bank had given his wife some money, but it hadn't been wages.

“She received nothing as far as I know personally,” he said. 

AB's husband of 11 years said that he was all to well aware of this because he has had to pay their rent as well as legal fees.

The couple had gone through three sets of lawyers he said.

Pilatus Bank also filed a criminal complaint against AB, with police pressing charges in court against her for misappropriation of monies during the two months she was in the employ of the bank.

In a previous sitting, AB had said that she had received petty cash for day-to-day purchases for the bank, and she was also asked to make payments to clients in cash through sealed envelopes and deliver them to the client at various hotels throughout Malta.

Cross-examined by lawyer Stefano Filletti, who is representing Pilatus Bank in the wage dispute case, the whistleblower’s Greek husband recalled how he had suggested that his wife apply at Pilatus bank and that he had sat for two job interviews there.

AB was employed as the chairman’s personal assistant although the bank has argued that the woman was never an employee.

Read more: Pilatus Bank in media outreach to ‘disprove’ whistleblower’s salary claims

A representative from Identity Malta also testified to answer questions about the woman's ID card where he confirmed that on 13 June 2016, AB signed as having received the card.

Asked about the need for an ID card and employment, he said that “the card is a formality, so it can't inhibit a person. Employment is not dependent on the card, the fact that a person is married to an EU national gives them the rights.” 

Asked about the couple having to go to Identity Malta several times before submitting their application, the representative said that in general not many visits are required unless documentation is missing. He also confirmed that AB's application was dependent on her husband’s, who filed as a self-employed person and therefore needed additional supporting documentation. No official records relating to the number of visits to Identity Malta were kept, he said.

A representative of national employment agency Jobs Plus also testified, stressing that a non-EU national married to an EU national would follow the same employment procedures as EU and Maltese citizens, namely, once employed by a company, the employer sends an engagement form to Jobs Plus.

An ID card is not a requirement, he said passports are also accepted.

An application for a national insurance number could also be made through the engagement form, he said.

But according to Jobs Plus' records, Pilatus Bank had never submitted an engagement form for AB.

The onus of filing the form was on the employer and not the employee, the witness declared.

Lawyer Stefano Filletti appeared for Pilatus Bank. Lawyer Daniel Buttigieg appeared for AB. Lawyer Valentina Lattughi appeared for the DIER.

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