The Malta Financial Services Authority has confirmed that Christopher Buttigieg will continue to serve as the regulator’s CEO ad interim, pending a recruitment process.
The former CEO, Joseph Cuschieri, tendered his resignation on Wednesday. He had suspended himself from the role on 30th October, after a Times of Malta report revealed that he had gone on a Las Vegas trip with casino owner Yorgen Fenech in 2018, along with the MFSA’s General Counsel Edwina Licari, and two other officials.
The trip was funded by Mr Fenech, who six months later was accused of complicity in the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.
He had been CEO of the MFSA for just weeks, and prior to that he occupied the role of Malta Gaming Authority CEO. Dr Licari has been legal counsel for the MGA at the time of the trip. Dr Licari had also suspended herself alongside Mr Cuschieri pending a review of whether their conduct constituted a breach of ethics.
Following the revelations, the MFSA’s Board announced an investigation into Mr Cuschieri’s conduct, led by Chief Justice Emeritus Joseph Azzopardi and Mark Simiana.
The MFSA “has taken note of the Board of Review’s opinion on the cases of both Mr Cuschieri and Dr Licari. The Board of Review’s conclusion regarding Mr Cuschieri leads the MFSA Board to ratify his resignation”.
“As regards Dr Licari, the Board of Review's conclusions do not warrant her continued self-suspension. The Board of Governors has decided to present a copy of the Board of Review’s report for information to the Minister of Finance and Employment.”
The Board of Governors thanked Chief Justice Emeritus Azzopardi and Dr Simiana for the work carried out the review.