Updated 12.40pm with Psaila comments

Former Nationalist Party candidate and lawyer Frank Psaila has been appointed to chair two different government boards.

The appointments mean Psaila now sits on three state boards, having been made a member of a board for affordable housing just last month.

His two new appointments will see him chair the Medicines Review Board, which is tasked with hearing appeals related to the licensing of medical products and devices, and the Periti Warranting Board, which grants architects and civil engineers their professional warrant.

The two new appointments were published in Friday’s government gazette.

By law, both the Medicines Review Board and Periti Warranting Board must be chaired by practicing lawyers. Medicines Review Board appointments are for three-year periods, while the chair of the Periti Warranting Board is appointed to a four-year term.

Psaila said he was informed that he will be paid €2,200 a year for chairing the Periti Warranting Board and €3,548 a year for chairing the Medicines Review Board. 

Who will serve on the boards?

Psaila will be joined on the Medicines Review Board by doctors Josephine Psaila and Jan Chircop. Professor Stephen Montfort will serve as substitute chairperson. 

As chair of the Periti Warranting Board, Psaila will lead a team made up of five architects and civil engineers.

Periti William Lewis and Claude Mallia have been reappointed as government representatives of the board. Lewis is close to the Labour Party, having served as its administrative secretary in the past. Mallia served as chair of the PA Planning Commission before quitting to take up a lucrative post as CEO of Malta Air Traffic Services. 

Other members of the board include perit Anthony Bezzina representing the Kamra tal-Periti along with Prof. Alex Torpiano, and periti Ivan Zammit.

Psaila: I am glad to contribute to my country

Psaila and his wife Alessia Zammit Psaila both publicly quit the PN following the March general election, saying they wished to focus on their respective careers.

Asked to comment about his new appointments on Friday, he told Times of Malta that he considered his time with the PN to be a "closed chapter".  

"The PN took its decisions. I took mine," he said, adding that he had expressed concerns about the PN internally but ultimately decided to move on after seeing that a working solution was no longer possible. 

"Having been active in a political party, from which I have since resigned, should not preclude you from contributing to your country," he said about his new appointments. 

"I am now contributing towards my country through other ways, and I am  glad to do so." 

Psaila spent years presenting current affairs shows on PN media and was pushed as an MEP candidate for the party during the leadership of Adrian Delia. Polls suggested he could beat long-standing MEP David Casa to his seat in 2019, but Psaila fell short.

It subsequently emerged that Tumas magnate Yorgen Fenech had privately assured him that if he failed to get elected, he had a job waiting for him within the Tumas group.

Fenech followed through with a job offer after the MEP elections, but Psaila says that he turned the offer down "because of the political turmoil at the time."

Former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri later testified under oath that then-PN leader Adrian Delia had received money from Fenech to sideline Casa.

That claim triggered an inquiry into whether Fenech had tried to prevent Casa from getting reelected to the European Parliament. The inquiry remains under wraps.

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