‘What is government doing to prevent court leaks?’ Rosianne Cutajar asks Justice Minister

Independent MP Rosianne Cutajar resigned from Labour’s parliamentary group a couple of weeks after Whatsapp chats exhibited in an ongoing criminal case against Yorgen Fenech were leaked to the public

Independent MP Rosianne Cutajar
Independent MP Rosianne Cutajar

During parliamentary question time on Monday afternoon, independent MP Rosianne Cutajar asked the Justice Minister what government can do to prevent leaks from ongoing court inquiries.

Cutajar herself was subject to a court leak, after unredacted Whatsapp chats between her and alleged Daphne Caruana Galizia murder mastermind Yorgen Fenech were leaked on author Mark Camilleri’s blog.

The Whatsapp chats ended up with her resigning from Labour’s parliamentary group.  

In a brief answer, the justice minister said anyone subject to a leak can pursue remedies in line with the law, but did not exclude any reforms to ensure the people’s full trust in the country’s justice system.

Revisiting Cutajar’s resignation

Sources close to the Labour Party had told MaltaToday that Cutajar was given an ultimatum by Prime Minister Robert Abela to resign or else be kicked out by the executive.

In a Facebook post announcing her resignation, Cutajar described the events that led to her resignation as an "inhuman, vindictive and personal attack" by someone who breached a court order and "escaped from the country". The reference was to blogger Mark Camilleri. She said nothing new came out of this "attack".

"Suddenly, after the usual insistence by some, pressure started mounting on me to shoulder some form of political responsibility for the second time. I asked what had changed and was not given an answer. But I do not want to be a burden on anyone. This is why, with a heavy heart, I inform you that I will no longer form part of the Labour parliamentary group and will continue to serve in parliament as an independent MP, free but consistent with my Labour principles," Cutajar wrote.

Cutajar’s question also echoes complaints put forward by former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat in his request for Magistrate Gabriella Vella recusal from the inquiry into the privatisation of state hospitals under his administration.

Muscat hit out at the leaks from the inquiry, pointing his finger at voices whom he said “publicly boast of knowing what was going to happen, people who showed up on my doorstep to follow proceedings, and now even the publication of information that seems to be originating from the Inquiry.”