The standards commissioner has yet to conclude his investigation into the alleged involvement of former junior minister Rosianne Cutajar in a multi-million-euro property deal with murder suspect Yorgen Fenech, despite the lapse of the six-month time limit for the probe.

The commissioner, George Hyzler, has now written to the Speaker of the House of Representatives to inform him about the delay. The reasons for the delay were not disclosed to Times of Malta.

According to the Standards in Public Life Act, the commissioner must conclude an investigation within six months of having received the allegation.

Failing that, he is obliged to draw up a report giving the reason for the delay and submit it to the chairman of the parliamentary committee for standards in public life within seven working days.

The investigation began in December last year following a complaint by Arnold Cassola, a former independent election candidate, in reaction to a story published by Times of Malta.

The story revealed that Cutajar was being chased to repay brokerage fees she had allegedly earned from a €3.1 million property deal that fell through when Fenech was arrested last year.

Cutajar is said to have pocketed a cut of €46,500 in cash for her role in the May 2019 Mdina deal. She insists she always acted ethically.

After calls for her resignation, Prime Minister Robert Abela said he would take a decision once all facts had been established by an independent body. However, Cutajar bowed to pressure and resigned her cabinet post pending the outcome of the investigation.

Exchanges between Cutajar and Fenech shed further light on her role in brokering the Mdina property deal and her familiarity with the millionaire businessman.

Cutajar and her associate, Charles Farrugia have both tried to downplay her involvement in the property transaction, with the MP insisting that she never did any business with Fenech.

However, Times of Malta quoted sources saying that the exchanges between the pair show Cutajar was given a €9,000 cut from a pile of cash handed to her by Fenech after he went to Bank of Valletta in August 2019 to secure a loan for the property deal.

After the pair met, Fenech messaged Cutajar to inform her that there was an extra €9,000 in the cash pile for her, over and above the €31,000 in brokerage fees due to Farrugia.

“Thank goodness you told me, as I was going to keep on going with it [the money] straight to him [Farrugia] but he told me he’s not home,” Cutajar said in the message.

In a follow-up message, Fenech explained he was too shy to tell her he had put in an extra €9,000 for her. Cutajar said in the exchange that there was no need for the extra money.

“I know how much you have done for me,” sources say Cutajar told Fenech.

She allegedly told Fenech that €9,000 was a lot of money and a small birthday present to serve as a memento of him would have been more than enough.

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