Speaker should resign for ‘pathetic’ Cutajar reprimand letter, says Caruana Galizia

Matthew Cauruana Galizia pens letter to Speaker Anglu Farrugia accusing him of protecting Labour MP Rosianne Cutajar

Speaker Anglu Farrugia
Speaker Anglu Farrugia

The son of the late Daphne Caruana Galizia has written to the Speaker of the House, calling on Anglu Farrugia to resign over his inaction over Labour MP Rosianne Cutajar.

Matthew Caruana Galizia accused Farrugia of protecting Cutajar after refusing to adopt the Standards Commissioner’s report and agreeing with Labour MPs on further investigation of the MP’s taxes.

Cutajar, a Labour MP, was found to have breached ethics when she did not declare in her parliamentary register a €7,000 gift from Tumas magnate Yorgen Fenech, who also stands accused of masterminding the assassination of Caruana Galizia.

The Speaker voted against a motion put forward by the PN MPs to adopt Commissioner George Hyzler’s report after a tie, but recommended the committee continue its investigation. The Speaker proposed that all documents are sent to the Tax Commissioner and that he appear in front of the committee to answer questions by the MPs.

“You have made an extraordinary effort to protect an MP who accepted a bribe from a person on track to be prosecuted for high-level corruption, a bribe to fuel the MP’s campaign against justice for my mother…” Caruana Galizia told Farrugia.

Cutajar is also accused of breaching Council of Europe parliamentary assembly ethics by Dutch MP Pieter Omtzigt for her close link with Yorgen Fenech at a time when she used her seat at the PACE to argue against a public inquiry into Caruana Galizia’s murder.

“Your decision to protect a corrupt MP instead of protecting the interests of parliamentary democracy is a betrayal of your duty to the country, a betrayal of someone – who happens to be my mother – who made the ultimate sacrifice for her country, and a dishonour to your own self,” Caruana Galizia.

He accused Farrugia of penning a “pathetic, simpering” letter to the MP, calling it a signal to society that corruption is permissible. “In the best interests of our democracy, and due to your proven incapacity and unwillingness to defend parliament from corruption, you should resign immediately.”

In a response to Caruana Galizia, Farrugia issued a dry riposte taking his accuser to task over his apparent lack of procedural knowledge for penning his letter directly to him,

“In accordance with proper parliamentary procedure, letters should not be addressed to the Speaker of the House personally but to the Clerk of the House. This may be attributable to a lack of knowledge of parliamentary practice and the laws of Malta on your part.”

Farrugia also called out Caruana Galizia’s “unfounded and vexatious allegations” by referring him to the Ordinance on parliamentary privileges. “May I assure that in the best interest of democracy and the democratic government of Malta, the Speaker intends continuing to do his duty as he is required to do at law. Your unsubstantiated allegations are therefore rebutted.”