Appeals court orders former Central Bank deputy governor to pay former partner €6,000

Alfred Mifsud was been ordered to pay his former wife after the appeals court overturned a previous judgment by the court of magistrates

Former Central Bank deputy governor Alfred Mifsud (File Photo)
Former Central Bank deputy governor Alfred Mifsud (File Photo)

An appeals court has ordered former Central Bank deputy governor Alfred Mifsud to pay his former partner €6,000, overturning a judgment of the Court of Magistrates.

The case is over two unpaid monthly contributions of €3,000 that Mifsud had allegedly agreed to pay the plaintiff until their children left home.

Mifsud and Anna Zelbst had been in a 23-year relationship and have two children together, one is 22 and the other is 19. The couple split on bad terms in early 2016.

The ex-banker had been paying Zelbst €3,000 per month for the children’s needs, but had stopped in May 2016.

This led Zelbst to file a court application in which she said Mifsud had pledged, in writing, to pay her €3,000 a month as maintenance.

Mifsud argued that it was illegitimate for Zelbst to propose the payment of maintenance for their children, as they are not minors and have legal standing. He also said that it was not true that he assumed an obligation to pay her.     

Zelbst had told the court that she and Mifsud had lived together for several years, before splitting up in 2006. The family reunited in 2011, but Mifsud moved out of the home in 2016.

Zelbst said Mifsud had started giving her a €3,000 cheque every month. She had later asked him to start paying her by direct order. Mifsud had signed a written declaration, stating his intention to keep paying the monthly amount.

The declaration was placed in a folder at the house Zelbst lived in with her children. A copy was sent to a lawyer.

Zelbst later alleged that Mifsud had stolen the signed declaration while she was abroad. Mifsud denied the allegation.

Sometime later a number of allegations featuring Mifsud were made on Daphne Caruana Galizia’s blog. Mifsud subsequently decided to stop paying Zelbst the €3,000 a month and started paying his children directly, giving them €250 a week.

Zelbst had taken the matter to court, but Magistrate Caroline Farrugia Frendo had ruled that the declaration was not a contract, nor was it a private writing, but was simply a pledge to continue sending her €3,000 a month.

The court had noted that the letter was a promise of his intention, which eventually since certain happenings occured that changed the situation between the parties, resulted in the intention changing. As such Zelbst’s application was rejected.

However, an appeals court presided over by Mr Justice Anthony Ellul ruled that Mifsud had bound himself to pay. The court noted that Mifsud had already started paying the monthly cheques, that he had told Zelbst in a message that he would keep her monthly cheque “whatever”, and in another said “my word is enough but I will send you a signed paper.”

Also, in the signed document he had stated: “I will maintain the monthly allowance of €3,000.”

The court said that the blogs about him did not justify his sudden change of heart, and that the agreement has to be respected.

The original decision was overturned, with Mifsud being ordered to pay Zelbst the €6,000.

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