Updated at 10.51 am with Repubblika comments.

A parliamentary standards committee has agreed to publish a damning report into how Education Minister Justyne Caruana gave her friend Daniel Bogdanovic a €15,000 three-month contract for work he never carried out.

Times of Malta revealed on Sunday how the report details the minister’s abuse of power by giving the contract to Bogdanovic, a former footballer.

The report, which found the minister breached ethics rules, lays bare how Bogdanovic was paid handsomely to review the National Sports School, though he had not even written the report himself and then repeatedly lied about it when questioned.

Its findings have led to calls by the opposition for Caruana to be kicked out of Labour’s parliamentary group.

The report was published on the Standards Commissioner's website. 

During Tuesday’s committee meeting, Labour MPs Glenn Bedingfield and Edward Zammit Lewis asked for a sensitive section of the report to be withheld from public release.

After a few minutes of bickering, Labour and opposition MPs agreed to redact a paragraph of testimony given by Bogdanovic’s former partner, Alison.

During the meeting, Bedingfield remarked how large parts of the report had already been made public.

The committee is set to discuss the report at a later date.

It did not discuss whether to consider referring the report to police for criminal investigation as recommended by its author, Commissioner for Standards in Public Life, George Hyzler. 

Prime Minister Robert Abela has yet to comment on Caruana’s political future.

'Caruana must resign'

Earlier on Tuesday, civil society group Repubblika urged the parliamentary speaker and the government members of the committee not to obstruct the course of justice in this case. 

Addressing a press conference outside the education ministry a few hours before the standards committee met, Repubblika president Robert Aquilina said Minister Caruana had no other option but to resign her post.

The same was true of the ministry’s permanent secretary Frank Fabri, who had approved the contentious contract.

In a statement shortly after the committee meeting ended, independent election candidate Arnold Cassola, who filed the complaint for the Hyzler probe to be carried out, said Caruana is not fit to be minister. 

“The Hyzler report has confirmed that the €5,000-a-month contract dished out by Justyne Caruana to her unqualified contact was a grave abuse of money."

"Justyne Caruana should be immediately removed from her ministerial appointment. But others should follow suit,” the statement reads. 


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