The board of governors of the Malta Financial Services Authority has concluded that while Joseph Cuschieri's resignation from CEO is warranted, the self-suspension of general counsel Edwina Licari is not.

Cuschieri and Licari suspended themselves from the authority last month after Times of Malta revealed that they had flown to Las Vegas with casino owner Yorgen Fenech in 2018, with the businessman footing the bill.

At the time, Cuschieri was just weeks into his new job at the helm of the MFSA, having previously served as the regulator for Malta's gaming sector, leading the Malta Gaming Authority. 

Fenech was subsequently charged with complicity in the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

The MFSA had reacted to news of the trip by announcing a probe led by chief justice emeritus Joseph Azzopardi.

In a statement on Thursday, the MFSA said it received the report of the board of review appointed by the board of governors to carry out the necessary verifications regarding a possible breach of ethics by Cuschieri and Licari.

On the same day, the board of governors received notice of Cuschieri’s resignation.

The authority said on Thursday it took note of the resignation and of the board of review's opinion on the cases of both Cuschieri and 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," it said, pointing out that the board of governors decided to present a copy of the board of review’s report for information to the Minister of Finance and Employment.

The reasons behind the conclusion were not divulged.

Christopher Buttigieg will continue to serve as chief executive officer ad interim while the process to recruit a new CEO gets underway, the MFSA said.

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