Civil service head granted access to security committee since 2001

The decision to allow access to security service meetings to the civil service boss was approved by former prime minister Eddie Fenech Adami in 2001

Principal Permanent Secretary Mario Cutajar
Principal Permanent Secretary Mario Cutajar

The civil service head has been serving as secretary for the security committee since 2001, a statement by the Principal Permanent Secretary’s office said.

The secretary to the cabinet and head of civil service had been made secretary to the security committee by former prime minister Eddie Fenech Adami.

During the Daphne Caruana Galizia public inquiry on Wednesday morning, head of the Malta Security Services Joseph Bugeja said that Principal Permanent Secretary Mario Cutajar used to be present at Security Committee meetings. However, he specified that Cutajar would not be present for security briefings with the Prime Minister, which are distinct from meetings of the security committee.

The note released by the office of the permanent secretary, showing Fenech Adami's approval for the principal permanent secretary to act as secretary to the security committee
The note released by the office of the permanent secretary, showing Fenech Adami's approval for the principal permanent secretary to act as secretary to the security committee

Therese Comodini Cachia, a lawyer to the Caruana Galizia family, asked Bugeja to clarify whether former foreign affairs minister Carmelo Abela and principal permanent secretary Mario Cutajar were members of the committee.

In a statement on Wednesday evening, the Principal Permanent Secretary Mario Cutajar said that between 2001 and 2004, civil service head J.R. Grima had served as secretary to the board. Godwin Grima also served in the same position between 2004 to 2013.

The two were succeeded by Mario Cutajar, who continues to occupy the role till today.

“The Opposition leader was always present in the security committee meetings,” the statement read.

The security committee oversees the work of the Security Service.

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