The Council of Europe’s committee on rules of procedure, immunities and institutional affairs found Rosianne Cutajar committed a serious breach of the Parliamentary Assembly’s code of conduct when she failed to mention that she had a “professional relationship” with Yorgen Fenech in a speech she gave at the Assembly when it debated a resolution on Malta.
Yorgen Fenech’s interests in 17 Black and Electrogas were part of the explanatory memorandum attached to the draft resolution the Assembly was debating in June 2019 urging the Maltese authorities to stop impunity enjoyed by criminals involved in the killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia. At the debate, Rosianne Cutajar made her first and only ever speech to the Assembly of which she had been a member for several years, objecting to the resolution and not mentioning that she had met Yorgen Fenech and was paid by him for brokering a property deal.
The committee said it could not determine whether the money she was paid was in order to get her to speak the way she did but the code of conduct covers any failure to declare even appearances of conflict of interest. This had been won.
However, the committee also ruled it cannot sanction Rosianne Cutajar because she has resigned her membership of the Parliamentary Assembly last October. The decision does suggest it would be nearly impossible for Rosianne Cutajar to reobtain credentials to rejoin the Parliamentary Assembly after this ruling.
A copy of the full report can be downloaded here.
Members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe are nominated by political groupings in national parliaments of member states of the Council of Europe. That made Rosianne Cutajar not only a member of the Parliamentary Assembly in her own right but also a representative of the Maltese Labour Party group in the Council of Europe. Rosianne Cutajar campaigned at the last general election in Malta on the platform that she had done “nothing wrong” which has now been flatly contradicted by the committee of the Council of Europe that exists to decide on such matters.
Her position in Malta’s Parliament has never been less tenable.