Prime Minister shuts the door on Rosianne Cutajar after Hyzler report

OPM confirms Rosianne Cutajar’s resignation as parliamentary secretary will remain in force • Standards Committee agrees to publish MP’s ethics breach report • Opposition leader says Cutajar must resign from parliament

Labour MP Rosianne Cutajar
Labour MP Rosianne Cutajar

MP Rosianne Cutajar’s resignation as parliamentary secretary for reforms has become permanent, the Office of the Prime Minister has confirmed.

Cutajar had resigned in February pending an ethics probe pending her involvement with Yorgen Fenech in a property deal.

“Prime Minister Robert Abela today communicated with the Honorable Cutajar his decision to keep this resignation in force,” the statement released on Monday said.

On Sunday MaltaToday reported that Cutajar was informed by Prime Minister Robert Abela of his decision at a meeting at Castille.

In a report of over 200 pages, one of the longest ever penned by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards in Public Life, George Hyzler found overwhelming evidence of a breach of ethics by Cutajar.

Standards Committee publishes Rosianne Cutajar ethics breach report

Members of parliament’s ethics committee have agreed to publish an investigation into Rosianne Cutajar’s involvement with murder suspect Yorgen Fenech in an Mdina property sale.

In an eight-minute meeting on Monday morning, the Standards in Public Life Committee, chaired by Speaker Anglu Farrugia, agreed to publish the report compiled by Standards Commissioner George Hyzler.

The report includes a two-volume annex with evidence collected by Hyzler throughout the investigation. A separate volume containing private chats between Cutajar and Fenech and the MPs bank statements will only be made available to MPs on the committee.

READ ALSO: Arnold Cassola requests investigation into Rosianne Cutajar, Edward Zammit Lewis over undeclared income

Downloadable Files
Downloadable Files

The committee will meet again on 12 July at 8:30am to hear Hyzler.

The investigation was requested by independent candidate Arnold Cassola following a MaltaToday story that showed how Cutajar and her political aide, Charles Farrugia known as it-Tikka, received a brokerage fee for the sale of a property in Mdina to Fenech.

The sale was never finalised after Fenech was arrested in connection with Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder. The man selling the property had subsequently chased Cutajar and Farrugia for the brokerage money paid.

Cutajar denied receiving any brokerage fee for the sale and did not declare the income from the deal in her ministerial declarations. She also claimed that the €9,000 she received from Fenech was a birthday gift.

Hyzler did not believe Cutajar’s version and found that she breached ethics when she did not declare the brokerage fees in her parliamentary declaration. He also suggested the MP should be investigated by the Tax Commissioner for any unpaid taxes.

READ ALSO: PM summons Rosianne Cutajar as Hyzler calls for tax investigation

Robert Abela has decided not to decide - Bernard Grech

Opposition leader Bernard Grech has reiterated his call for Cutajar to be removed from the Labour parliamentary group. "If Robert Abela really wants to put the national interest above everything else, he should immediately ask Rosianne Cutajar to resign from MP, and if she refuses, kick her out from his parliamentary group," Grech said in a Facebook post.

The Opposition leader accused the Prime Minister of deciding not to decide in a reaction to the news that Cutajar's resignation from parliamentary secretary has now been confirmed and she will not be reinstated in Cabinet.