Rosianne Cutajar has resigned from the post of Parliamentary Secretary pending the conclusion of an investigation by the Standards Commissioner.
In a statement, the government said that Prime Minister Robert Abela had accepted the resignation, pending the conclusion of the investigation. The short statement reads that the Prime Minister appreciated how Cutajar had “chosen to place the interest of the government and the country before her personal interest.”
In a Facebook post, Cutajar said that in the past weeks she was subjected to a number of “unjust attacks, political spins, and untruthful comments.” She said that she will not enter into the merits of how certain people seem to have access to private conversations, but only about how some of these messages are being selectively released without any context.
This is being done, she said, in order for some to destroy her reputation and to damage the government and the Labour party.
She said that she never did any business with Yorgen Fenech. “Even though I knew him, the moment it was revealed that he will be charged with the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, I cut all contact with him.”
“In the years that I knew Yorgen Fenech, I never used any of my political positions to influence any process or decision. I was never asked to do so, and even if I was asked, I would never break the pact of faith that I have with you. In my political career, I have always act with integrity and in a correct manner”, she said.
Cutajar has been under fire ever since it emerged that she allegedly pocketed thousands of euro from a failed property deal involving Yorgen Fenech.
According to reports, she and her close associate Charles Farrugia ‘it-Tikka’ had helped broker the Mdina €3.1 property deal for Fenech. Fenech was trying to purchase the property from a certain Joe Camilleri. The deal fell through after Fenech’s November 2019 arrest and arraignment, and Camilleri is said to be chasing Cutajar to have her return a €46,500 brokerage fee he had paid her.
Cutajar reportedly received a further €9,000 in cash from Fenech, while Farrugia received €31,000.
However, in the meantime, she said that after a lot of reflection she had decided to offer her resignation from the position of Parliamentary Secretary pending the conclusion of this process. “In the coming days I will defend my name in the most convincing and honest manner”, she said.
She said that she is doing this out of respect to the Labour Party which she has served for the past decade and because she wants the government to keep working in “serenity”.
She said that in a time when it is clearly evident how Malta is a country where justice and rule of law reign, she will not let some use her to try and attack the party and stop the good that the party is doing to the country.
“I am not going to let any false and malicious allegations detract from the reforms which we have been working so hard on and which we will continue to carry out for the good for the Maltese and Gozitan people”, she said.
Fl-aħħar ġimgħat kont soġġetta għal diversi attakki inġusti, spins politiċi u kummenti qarrieqa. Mhux ħa nidħol…
In a statement in reaction to the news, NGO Repubblika – who held a protest outside Cutajar’s offices yesterday calling for her resignation – expressed their satisfaction at the news, saying that where the institutions do not work, civil society does.
They said that Cutajar should also resign from Parliament and, after allowing Yorgen Fenech to use her public positions for his benefit, should leave public life altogether.
They said that it is a positive step that Cutajar is no longer part of Cabinet, but noted that Prime Minister Robert Abela had lost the opportunity to send a clear signal that he wants good governance by refusing to remove Cutajar himself.