PM Abela knew about Cutajar even before he was appointed consultant, Azzopardi says

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Prime Minister Robert Abela knew the details which transpired during Monday’s court sitting concerning former Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar before the latter was appointed as a consultant to the Home Affairs Ministry, lawyer Jason Azzopardi said during an internet programme organised by rule of law NGO Repubblika which is hosted by former popular TV and radio presenter Norman Vella.

Azzopardi who also appears for the Caruana Galizia family remarked that the “worst is yet to come” hinting that more shocking details are to emerge in court.

Aktar xhieda xokkanti fil-Qorti – 15 ta' Ġunju 2020

Siegħa wara li ntemmet maratona ta' xhieda fil-Qorti, Repubblika twassal programm speċjali LIVE flimkien mal-Avukat Jason Azzopardi, Mark Anthony Sammut u Manuel Delia. Jippreżenta Norman Vella.

Posted by Repubblika on Monday, June 15, 2020

On Monday, Cutajar was fired from his consultancy job after the court ordered that Cutajar is placed under a criminal investigation following a request by Azzopardi in view of the details which emerged in court.

The programme was held after a nine-hour court sitting in the criminal proceedings against murder suspect Yorgen Fenech who stands charged with being an accomplice in the murder.

During the sitting on Monday, Johann Cremona, Fenech’s business partner, and Edgar Brincat known as il-Ġojja, testified in court. Both witnesses have spoken about the former Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar and his behaviour last year prior to Melvin Theuma and Fenech’s arrest.

Johann Cremona claimed that Cutajar allegedly informed Theuma, the state witness who was granted Presidential Pardon in exchange for information that Europol were aware of the secret recorded conversations between him and murder suspect Fenech. Further, Cremona said that Theuma had told him that Cutajar had asked for the recordings prior to his (Theuma’s) arrest.

Azzopardi remarked that what had transpired during the court sitting, he had known since last December. He pointed out that the Police had held a security briefing with Abela as soon as he was appointed Prime Minister. Despite being made aware of Cutajar’s potential involvement in the leaks from the case, Abela still chose to appoint him as a consultant, Azzopardi said.

Why did Abela insist on appointing Cutajar as a consultant, Azzopardi asked.

“Multi-layer assassination plot”

During the programme, Azzopardi also spoke about the possibility of having a multi-layered assassination plot involving more than one middleman and other masterminds. He said that it is possible that there were various individuals had the same aim and wanted to achieve the same result.

The lawyer maintained that the upcoming weeks were crucial to ensure that the truth is out and ensure that justice is truly served.

Had Ian Abdilla investigated maybe Caruana Galizia would still be alive

Azzopardi also mentioned that one of the biggest problems within the Police was its administration which he described as “weak and incompetent”. He maintained that despite its weak administration, Police Inspectors on the ground still went ahead conducting investigations against all odds.

He then mentioned Assistant Police Commissioner Ian Abdilla who heads the Economic Crimes Unit. Azzopardi said that he was of the belief that had Abdilla investigated the corruption and money laundering allegations, Caruana Galizia would have still been alive.

Newsbook.com.mt has sent questions to the Office of the Prime Minister which remained unanswered until the time of writing.

“Wouldn’t have awarded him the consultancy” – Abela

Prime Minister Robert Abela said that in hindsight, Lawrence Cutajar would have not be given the consultancy job had the government knew the details which have recently emerged.

Abela was stopped outside his office by a MaltaToday journalist.

He clarified that Cutajar was not employed by him but with another ministry doing consultations on public events. Abela noted that the former Police Chief’s contract was initially suspended before it was terminated on Monday evening.

Abela maintained that the contract was awarded on the basis of the information the government had at the time.