[WATCH] Repubblika asks Standards to investigate IIP firm's Castille promo

Repubblika said that the legal firm's use of Castille as a video backdrop was giving the impression that Chetcuti Cauchi enjoyed sanction from the authorities and had an unfair advantage over their competitors

Chetcuti Cauchi's director Jean-Philippe Chetcuti at Castille
Chetcuti Cauchi's director Jean-Philippe Chetcuti at Castille

The NGO Repubblika has asked the Standards Commissioner George Hylzer to investigate a promotional video of Chetcuti Cauchi's Individual Investor Programme (IIP) shot at Castille.

Chetcuti Cauchi has recently had its IIP license suspended when a French news programme revealed how the firm's members boasted of their connections with people in Malta's high offices. 

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The promotional video was shot in Castille and dates back to 8 October 2018, featuring parliamentary secretary for citizenship Julia Farrugia Portelli and Malta IIP Agency's CEO Jonathan Cardona.

"This advertising footage which was exclusively shot in one of the main halls of the Office of the Prime Minister and which is being shared on social media, aims at granting publicity to the services provided by legal firm Chetcuti Cauchi, a private firm directed by lawyer Jean-Philippe Chetcuti," Repubblika wrote in its letter to Hyzler.

This, the NGO said, is problematic since the legal firm was enjoying exclusive promotion from the authorities, with Farrugia Portelli breaching the code of ethics and abusing her power, something other competing firms were not getting.

"The footage also misused public resources. Castille was used as the main backdrop for the video, giving the impression that the private legal firm was being granted an unfair advantage over its competitors," Repubblika wrote.

The NGO asked Hyzler to investigate this conduct and for recommendations to be provided so that such a breach of ethical standards do not repeat themselves.