An internal investigation is underway in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs over alleged misconduct by Malta’s ambassador to Ireland Giovanni Buttigieg. Female employees of the Dublin embassy have testified to an internal board to consistent bullying tactics and mismanagement by the ambassador in his running of the office.

Witnesses told the board that they’ve been faced by near constant shouting and stomping, tantrums, and humiliating treatment, this website has learnt. Staff reported the ambassador worked short, erratic hours harassing employees through messages and emails remotely during the rest of the day and night, demanding work to be delivered urgently, including on weekends or when staff reported sick.

Staff testified Giovanni Buttigieg represented the embassy poorly and generated “a sense of fear and division amongst his team”.

Witnesses said that Giovanni Buttigieg described himself as a “ġurdien mill-Marsa” (a Marsa rat, which is a Maltese idiomatic way of saying one is streetwise). He has threatened his staffers with using his access to the authorities to force employees he dislikes out of their jobs and positions.

When they appointed Giovanni Buttigieg to the embassy in Ireland, the government ignored the legal requirement of submitting his nomination to the scrutiny of the parliamentary committee that oversees senior public appointments. Ambassadors recruited from outside the diplomatic corps are required to reply to questions from Opposition MPs in a public setting.

Giovanni Buttigieg first stepped into diplomacy when he was transferred from the Malta Council of Science and Technology to the working group organising the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in the early part of the Labour government’s term. From there he was appointed to Malta’s representative office at the United Nations in New York.

He was however transferred away from New York under a cloud though sources told this website allegations of misconduct in New York were never investigated.