Robert Abela defends ex-PA chief Johann Buttigieg over Yorgen Fenech chats

‘Johann Buttigieg never did business with Yorgen Fenech’

Prime Minister Robert Abela has stood by former Planning Authority CEO Johann Buttigieg following revelations that he solicited business with Yorgen Fenech.

On Sunday, the Times of Malta revealed that Buttigieg had expressed a willingness to do business with Fenech on a property venture while holding a CEO position at the Planning Authority. This was after Fenech's link to his 15 Black company had already been revealed.

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

When asked whether this conduct is acceptable from a high-ranking government official, Abela rose to his defence, insisting that Buttigieg never did business with Fenech.

He said that a few months ago, he gave a directive so that no CEOs of government entities can do business that falls out of their remit in their public roles.

Johann Buttigieg currently enjoys a CEO position at the Malta Tourism Authority, after having stepped down from the Planning Authority in 2019.

However, he is now facing resignation calls from the Nationalist Party, Repubblika and Moviment Graffitti.

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

In a separate Whatsapp exchange, Fenech invited Buttigieg to his house to discuss a project that had just been green-lighted by "ix-Xiħ", in what may have been a reference to former prime minister Joseph Muscat.

The Tumas magnate had also given the PA chairman a confidential render of a proposed tower project neighbouring Portomaso.