Chris Cardona to stay on as Labour Party deputy leader

Robert Abela reiterated on Sunday that Cardona would be doing what’s best for the party, after he was mentioned in the compilation of evidence against suspected Caruana Galizia murder mastermind Yorgen Fenech

Labour Party deputy leader Chris Cardona has said he will not be resigning from his post.

In the past weeks, claims were made in court by Caruana Galizia murder middleman Melvin Theuma about Cardona's alleged role in the journalist's slaying.

Theuma alleged, during the compilation of evidence against suspected mastermind Yorgen Fenech, that he had been told that Cardona had passed on €350,000 to Alfred Degiorgio, one of the three men accused with executing the car bomb murder.

The former economy minister has since denied any involvement, saying Theuma's claims were "nonsense, based on lies."

Prime Minister Robert Abela said on Sunday that he is confident Cardona would be doing what is best for the party.

“Chris Cardona will do what is needed to keep the Labour Party’s name in good standing as it is today," Abela said.

In comments to The Malta Independent, Cardona affirmed that he would not be stepping down.

Asked whether his name popping up in court would lead to further reputational damage for the Labour Party, he said he would not be commenting on names which have cropped up in court, stating his confidence in more names popping up sooner or later.

“So, my advice on those hinting on name popping is better wait,” he said.

In November 2019, Cardona had suspended himself as economy minister in the wake of mass protests concerning revelations emerging from the Caruana Galizia murder case. He was not made a minister when Robert Abela took over Joseph Muscat as prime minister.

Last April, he also stepped down from a Labour MP, but said he would be retaining his role as the party's deputy leader.

Cardona was the subject of significant controversy in January 2017, when Caruana Galizia had alleged that the then minister had been as brothel in Germany while on official government business, claims which he has also denied.

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