Former parliamentary secretary Rosianne Cutajar has sued Mark Camilleri, the former chairman of the Malta Book Council, insisting that claims he has made about her are libellous.

Camilleri's new book, A Rent Seekers' Paradise, has spoken of a close personal relationship between Cutajar and Yorgen Fenech after he was identified as the owner of secret company 17 Black. Fenech is awaiting trial for complicity in the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. 

According to the court application, Cutajar is suing Camilleri over a Facebook post he uploaded on Tuesday. 

In it he said the MP had obtained money from Fenech to defend him against the accusations he was facing and to attack Caruana Galizia's investigative work. 

Cutajar said on Thursday that she would not let anyone seek popularity for their writings at the expense of her integrity and had filed the libel case over comments made in writing "in the past few hours."

"Like everyone else, I am human and have a family," she said. 

She is seeking damages and removal of the allegedly defamatory post.

Camilleri told Times of Malta that he will not do so.  "I won't remove anything from my Facebook of course," he said.

The MP has, separately, been mired in controversy for having allegedly accepted €46,500 in cash for facilitating a €3.1 million property deal for Fenech.

Standards Commissioner George Hyzler concluded that she most likely received the payment and said she should be investigated by the tax department over the deal. 

In his book, Camilleri also claimed that former minister Manuel Mallia has been accused of being involved in fuel smuggling and money laundering.

Mallia said the claims are "nothing but an invention based on myths and false allegations".

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