Former investigator Jonathan Ferris was dismissed following an "objective and comprehensive performance assessment", according to the board of governors of the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU).
"The decision to terminate the employment of Mr Ferris – Manager Analysis Section in terms of law during the probation period was taken unanimously by the Board of Governors of the FIAU on the recommendation of the Director of the FIAU and was based solely on an objective and comprehensive performance assessment," the FIAU said.
"The performance assessments established that Mr Ferris, irrespective of any other qualities which he may have, had clearly fallen short of the expectations of the organisation associated with his role of manager of the Analysis Section. It was therefore decided that it was not in the best interest of the FIAU to retain the employee. These are not the first cases of employment terminated by the FIAU during the probation period. Given the nature of the work conducted by the FIAU, the Unit will retain in employment only those officials that during the probation period are assessed to be fully suitable for the role and duties assigned to them."
The FIAU denied that the decision to terminate Mr Ferris's employment was motivated by political or other unfair or discriminatory motives or considerations or that it was otherwise taken to stop him from performing his duties.
"The FIAU categorically and in the most forceful manner denies that there was any political, ministerial, police or any other form of government-related instruction, direction, interference, influence or communication of any type, whether directly or indirectly, addressed to any member of the Board of Governors or the Director or any other official of the FIAU, in connection with the decision to terminate the employment of Mr Ferris."
It said that unfounded allegations and irresponsible speculation being levelled at the FIAU were causing incalculable damage to the FIAU both locally and internationally and would only serve to undermine the FIAU’s ability to carry out its duties and functions to fight money laundering, underlying crime and the financing of terrorism.
In an immediate reaction Mr Ferris' legal team deplored the' transparent attempt' to influence the Tribunal that is considering an unfair dismissal claim. It said it will be considering what action to take presently.
Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.Support Us