The wife of late notary Ivan Barbara insisted on Thursday she paid for the adoption of her daughter "exclusively" from her own money and denied claims her husband's clients' funds were used for the purpose.

"She declares further, in the most absolute manner, that all expenses for adopting her daughter, including her own and her late husband’s travel and accommodation expenses, were paid in their entirety from funds deriving exclusively from the exercise of her own profession," lawyers for Rosanne Barbara Zarb said.

In a statement to the media, the lawyers also said Barbara Zarb had "no involvement or connection whatsoever with her late husband’s profession, or its exercise, in the same manner in which Notary Barbara had no involvement or connection whatsoever with his wife’s profession or its exercise". 

According to the Malta Business Registry, Rosanne Barbara is listed along with her late husband as a director with the company GBR Company Limited. 

The comments were made after clients of the notary, who died suddenly of COVID-19 while on a trip to India to adopt a child, filed an application in court demanding a magisterial inquiry into his actions, as well as those of his wife.

The request was made by three clients who had handed Barbara cheques amounting to €30,650, in relation to promise-of-sale agreements they had signed. They want a magisterial inquiry to be appointed to investigate whether their funds were misappropriated or fraudulently used.

"In particular, Barbara Zarb strongly denies that she made use, benefitted or received in her own bank accounts any part of those funds. Spouses Barbara kept and operated separate accounts, both in regard to their work as well as for their personal transactions.

"With reference to the published declarations implicating Barbara Zarb in offshore companies, and misappropriation of funds, those declarations are completely false and defamatory. She never had any involvement whatsoever in offshore companies, nor misappropriated any funds whatsoever," the lawyers said. 

On the reclaiming of the clients' funds, the lawyers said Barbara Zarb "has no information whatsoever in that regard". All allegations implying her benefitting in any way from those monies, during her husband’s lifetime or after his decease, are completely untrue, they said. 

"In order to safeguard her own and her minor daughter’s interest, she has no other option but to seek judicial remedies against whoever is spreading these false and defamatory allegations."

Barbara and his family first made headlines in April when he contracted COVID-19 while in India with Barbara Zarb to adopt a daughter. At the time, the country had been struggling to keep up with the dramatic increase in new cases so the Maltese authorities had decided to fly Barbara back despite his complications. 

But Barbara never made it to Malta, dying just minutes before the air ambulance that was to fly him back to Malta took off.

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