The law firm which had its licence to sell Maltese passports suspended due to claims of collusion with government politicians, impropriety and disseminating misleading information, has welcomed the conclusions of an investigation by the regulator “with open arms”. 

Dr Jean-Pierre Chetcuti, managing partner of Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates and the main protagonist in the secretly-filmed interview aired by a French TV, said in a statement that “the regulator’s report has shown in crystal clear terms that the allegations made on the TV programme were false.”

“Having known the truth from the start, as well as the deceptiveness of the so-called investigative programme, the Regulator’s conclusions did not come as a surprise.”

Earlier this week, the regulator of Malta’s controversial cash-for-passport programme, technically known as the IIP, issued a report in which he said that he had found no evidence to corroborate comments made by Dr Chetcuti Cauchi during the programme.

In the interview, Dr Chetcuti Cauchi had boasted about his firm’s connections with members of the government, particularly the Prime Minster, Justice Minister Owen Bonnici and Parliamentary Secretary Julia Farrugia and about his firm’s track record to obtain passports for wealthy individuals.

The regulator said that while the claims made were not corroborated through his investigation, he insisted that if the statements made during the interview were true then “Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates could be charged with disseminating totally misleading information for reasons best known to him,  probably by way of an insensible sales promotion as a result of which the IIP has been put in a very bad light both locally and abroad.”

In his statement, Dr Chetcuti Cauchi did not refer to the accusations of misleading information by his agency but insisted that “the report goes a long way to demonstrate not only the correctness of the firm’s work in the area, but also the strictness, professionalism and impartiality with which the MIIP Agency has dealt with our firm”.

Following the airing of the programme and the claims made, a video promoting the sale of passports by Chetcuti Cauchi filmed at the Office of the Prime Minister emerged. The video, filmed in the cabinet room, also included an introduction by Parliamentary Secretary Julia Farrugia and the CEO of the cash-for-passports programme Jonathan Cardona.

No comments or investigation has been made by the regulator, Carmel Degabriele, on this video and who at the OPM gave the green light for this filming inside Castille.

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