Former book council chair Mark Camilleri is in discussions with the government over his possible return to the council as a consultant, the author told Times of Malta on Friday.

“There are problems in the council, and I will go and do the job that has been lacking for the past three years,” Camilleri said.

“Nothing has yet been decided. I have not signed anything, and discussions are still ongoing.”

His comments come after MaltaToday reported that Camilleri will return to the council as a consultant and will be paid a salary in the range of €30,000 a year. Sources told MaltaToday he will be allowed to work remotely.

Camilleri led the National Book Council for several years until his contract was not renewed by the Education Ministry in 2021, a year after he clashed with then-education minister Justyne Caruana.

Since then, he has been highly critical of the council and his successor as chair, who is also called Mark Camilleri. 

When asked on Friday to confirm whether he will be returning to the council, Camilleri Times of Malta he is in discussions with the Education Minister.

"Nothing is signed on paper and the [MaltaToday] report is just words," he said.

"If I get a contract related to my actual work and which can help me grow, why not?" he added. 

In a Facebook post, Camilleri slammed MaltaToday's report, questioning why the paper ignored his investigations on Prime Minster Robert Abela. He said MaltaToday did not contact him for comments.

"Is it because they are fully funded by the government?" he asked.

"MaltaToday as a Labour Party newspaper has done its best to consistently attack and smear me while ignoring my investigative stories."

'I will continue with my investigative work'

Camilleri told Times of Malta that even if an agreement was reached, "there will be no changes to what I do", and he will continue with his investigative work. 

Camilleri's troubles with the council began in 2020, when then-education minister Justyne Caruana pushed for him to resign following a public spat with one of the lawyers representing alleged Daphne Caruana Galizia murder conspirator Yorgen Fenech. 

He was ousted a year later and then branched out on his own. He runs a personal blog as well as an independent publishing house, Dar Camilleri, which was launched in 2021.

That same year he published A Rent Seeker’s Paradise alleging corruption and bad governance by the Labour government. 

In the book, Camilleri claims that Rosianne Cutajar had an affair with Fenech to get a leg up in her political career and that she had received “corrupt money” from him. Cutajar is suing Camilleri overthe claims. 

He subsequently published transcripts of more than 2,200 WhatsApp messages between Cutajar and Fenech claiming the two were intimate and on very close terms.

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