Updated 7.10pm

Joseph Cuschieri, the former CEO of the Malta Financial Services Authority, has resigned.

The Finance Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that Minister Clyde Caruana had accepted the resignation.

Cuschieri suspended himself from the authority last month after Times of Malta revealed that he had flown to Las Vegas with casino owner Yorgen Fenech in 2018, with Fenech 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 former chief justice Joseph Azzopardi.

The Finance Ministry said on Wednesday it had been informed by the chairman of the MFSA's board of governors that he had received Cuschieri's resignation letter.

Resignation to 'avoid unnecessary media attention'

In his resignation letter, Cuschieri said that he was resigning to "avoid any unnecessary media attention and external pressures at such a critical juncture" but that his decision to step aside "should in no way be interpreted as an admission of any wrongdoing and/or misconduct". 

"I came to this conclusion following a period of deep reflection - that in the circumstances it is both in the interest of the Authority and myself to part ways," he wrote.  
Caruana thanked Cuschieri for his work to strengthen the MFSA's regulatory aspects, modernise its structures and reforming it in recent years.

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