The Malta Financial Services Authority’s (MFSA) Chief Executive Officer, Joseph Cuschieri, alongside the MFSA’s General Counsel, Edwina Licari, have suspended themselves from the regulator over a Las Vegas trip paid for by murder suspect Yorgen Fenech.

An MFSA statement reads that both Mr Cuschieri and Ms Licari have suspended themselves pending “verifications” to be carried out by the regulator. The MFSA stressed that Ms Licari was not engaged with the MFSA at the time of the trip.

In addition, the Finance Ministry has issued a statement to announce that Ms Licari has resigned as a member of the board of governors of the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU).

At the time of the trip, Dr Licari was legal counsel for the Malta Gaming Authority.

Mr Cuschieri has sustained pressure to resign from the Opposition and civil society groups following the news that he attended a Las Vegas trip with Mr Fenech, and funded by Mr Fenech, back in 2018.

Mr Fenech stands accused of complicity in the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was blown up after a car bomb was placed inside her vehicle in October 2017.

The Las Vegas trip took place one month after Mr Cuschieri had left his position as CEO of the Malta Gaming Authority to take up his new role as head of the MFSA, which oversees all financial services on the island.

A fourth person, a former official at the Office of the Prime Minister, Charlene Bianco Farrugia, also attended the Las Vegas trip.

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