Repubblika, PN call for Johann Buttigieg resignation following Yorgen Fenech revelations

The Former Planning Authority chairman Johann Buttigieg told alleged Daphne Caruana Galizia murder mastermind that he is always willing to do business with him  

Former Planning Authority executive chairperson Johann Buttigieg
Former Planning Authority executive chairperson Johann Buttigieg

The former chairman of the Planning Authority Johann Buttigieg told Yorgen Fenech that he is always willing to do business with him, according to messages between the two.  

Times of Malta revealed how Buttigieg told the alleged Caruana Galizia murder mastermind that he was open to doing business during a March 2019 Whatsapp conversation.  

Buttigieg, who is now Malta Tourism Authority CEO, was still heading the Planning Authority, and Yorgen Fenech’s link to his 17 Black company had already been revealed.  

The topic was raised after the Tumas magnate told Butigieg he would equally split profits on a property development he was hoping to take over from developer Joe Portelli.  

“We can do business whenever you like. But those are yours,” Buttigieg replied to Fenech’s proposal.  

In the exchange the former PA head also told Fenech that he would be willing to partner with him whenever he likes.  

He was also invited to Fenech’s house earlier to discuss a project given the green light by “ix-Xih”.  

In reply to questions sent by the newspaper, the MTA CEO denied ever doing business with Yorgen Fenech, but failed to explain why the conversation on the potential business deal took place.  

In reaction to the report, the Nationalist Party has called on the Prime Minister Robert Abela to remove Buttigieg from his post, and investigate any project he was involved in with the Malta Tourism Authority and the Planning Authority.  

“Every day Robert Abela sweeps these problems under the carpet, he continued to increase the country’s economic risks,” it said.  

Civil society NGO Repubblika also called for the MTA head’s sacking, stating he should not serve in a public role. 

“Not only are the institutions not working, but have been overcome by a hidden octopus whose tentacles have infiltrated them totally,” it said.  

Independent candidate Arnold Cassola has written to the Commission against Corruption to investigate Buttigieg following the report.  

He also said that between 17 and 20 January, Buttigieg not only travelled with a businessman who had a project under consideration at the authority but also accepted a £321 gift from Adrian Buttigieg, the owner of La Salita, who also had a project being considered by the PA. 

The gift, he claimed, consisted of a three day stay in a Queen Room at London’s Royal Garden Hotel.  

During the weekend, the two men went to London with a BOV official who was deciding on whether to issue a loan to La Salita.  

The three watched a Chelsea-Manchester United football match on January 19, according to Cassola.  

He presented proof of the hotel payment (attached), but had none on the football match.