Malta, Deputy PM Fearne resigns over fraud charges

VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Maltese deputy prime minister Chris Fearne has presented his resignation from the Labour government’s Cabinet, following the criminal charges filed against him on the controversial privatisation of three state hospitals that have inundated the Labour administration.

Fearne is set to be charged with misappropriation, obtaining money or property by false pretences and other fraudulent gain. All charges are aggravated by damages over €5,000, although the exact amounts are not yet known, and the fraud is said to have taken place at the government’s expense.

Chris Fearne, also Labour’s deputy leader for parliamentary affairs, has also resigned from the post of deputy Prime Minister as well as minister for reforms.

In his letter of resignation, he also informed the Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela that he was withdrawing his nomination for European Commissioner.

“I am resigning with immediate effect from the posts of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Government. Having the same respect for European institutions I also ask that my nomination to the College of European Commissioners be withdrawn. My solitary and humble hope is that the judicial process to clear my name is expeditious. If, upon its conclusion, the country calls on me to serve again, it shall find me ready,” Fearne said in his letter of resignation to Robert Abela.

Fearne is insisting on his innocence, noting that though he did not know the contents of the inquiry, he knew what he did and did not do. He also quoted the findings of the National Audit Office in its damning assessment of the concession that was ultimately cancelled as fraudulent by the courts, and which found that Fearne was being kept away from any significant involvement in proceedings.

– Photo Department of Information Malta –


Source: medNews