Yvonne Farrugia appointed Malta prosecutor in European Public Prosecutor’s Office

EPPO representative will be prosecutor in crimes of fraud, misappropriation, and corruption against the financial interest of the EU

Police inspector Yvonne Farrugia has been appointed Malta’s European Prosecutor within the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO). 

Dr Farrugia was one of the 22 European Prosecutors appointed by the Council of the European Union to form part of the EPPO. 

Farrugia was appointed after several public calls, and in a selection process by the EU. She will be stationed in Luxemburg. 

EPPO is responsible for the investigation, the prosecution, and the bringing to justice, of those who are complicit or authors, in crimes which go against the financial interest of the EU. 

It is also responsible for crimes related to fraud, misappropriation, corruption, and cross-border VAT fraud of over €10 million. So far there are 22 Member States participating in the EPPO. 

The EPPO shall perform the function of prosecutor in the competent courts of the participating member states in respect of such offences. European Prosecutors will be overseeing investigations and prosecutions of these crimes affecting the European budget into a college, along with European Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruța Kövesi. 

Malta joined the EU public prosecutor’s office on cross-border financial fraud in 2018. 

The EU failed for years to win unanimous support for the project among the 28 member states, due to concerns over possible infringements of national sovereignty. In June 2017, 20 member states reached a political agreement on the establishment of the new European Public Prosecutor’s Office under enhanced cooperation. 

Malta had delayed the operational set-up of the EPPO through its failure to nominate three eligible candidates to sit on its College of Prosecutors, delaying operations since EPPO was unable to adopt its internal rules of procedure, security and financial rules, as well as other administrative tasks such as rules on transparency and access to documents.

Malta had declined to join the EPPO in 2017 but reversed its decision after an international spotlight was cast on the government’s failure to fight corruption following the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.