Updated 2pm with Ministry reaction

Malta Philharmonic Orchestra CEO Sigmund Mifsud has been charged with attempted tampering of evidence after he allegedly instructed employees to keep quiet about a sexual harassment scandal. 

Mifsud allegedly summoned all employees to a meeting some days ago and told them that anyone found to be speaking out about the scandal would be deemed complicit. 

Malta’s national orchestra has been embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal since last month, when allegations first surfaced of a harassment cover-up.

Mifsud being driven to court on Saturday. Photo: Media.LinkMifsud being driven to court on Saturday. Photo: Media.Link

Police subsequently pressed charges against an MPO official, who pleaded guilty to sexual harassment last week. A court heard that the victim had reported the harassment internally but had been ignored. She eventually quit that job. 

The MPO said last week that the official in question is currently suspended and that a disciplinary board would be looking into the claims once the period in which he could file an appeal against the court ruling – 30 days – elapsed. 

It must now contend with another top official, Mifsud, facing criminal charges. 

Police arraigned that official on Saturday and charged him with using moral and/or physiological violence, causing the alleged victim to fear violence and attempting to tamper with evidence.

Apart from ordering MPO employees to keep quiet about the scandal, prosecutors allege Mifsud also tried to convince the harassment victim to change her version of events, before the issue led to criminal charges.  

Mifsud pleaded not guilty.

Magistrate Nadine Lia turned down a request for bail, noting that the accused still occupied his post. Since one of the charges concerned the alleged attempt to tamper with evidence and since the witnesses were mainly his subordinates, the court denied bail at this stage.

Inspectors Gabriel Micallef and Kevin Pulis prosecuted. Lawyers Edward Gatt and Shaun Zammit were counsel to the defence. Lawyers Ilenia Agius and Joseph Gatt appeared parte civile. 

Mifsud suspended on half-pay

In a statement, the Culture Ministry said that Mifsud has been suspended on half-pay pending the outcome of the criminal case. 

Pjazza Teatru Rjal CEO Chris Muscat will take over as acting CEO of the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra while retaining his job at Pjazza Teatru Rjal, the ministry said.  

Sign up to our free newsletters

Get the best updates straight to your inbox:
Please select at least one mailing list.

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By subscribing, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing.