Prime Minister Robert Abela made €1,500 a month in rental income for two years from his Żejtun villa.

In an interview with Times of Malta, Abela pushed back on claims that his rental income was intentionally kept hidden on his assets declarations, saying that editors could make a formal request to the tax commissioner to see the TA24 forms where the amount was declared. 

The prime minister questioned during the interview.

When asked to whom the villa had been rented, Abela replied, “you know who it is because you already made it public”. 

Times of Malta reported in March that the prime minister had rented out the property to two Russians who applied for a Maltese passport without verifying whether they had ever stayed at the property. 

He said that the villa was rented for just under two years, which means that Abela netted approximately €36,000 in additional income from the property. 

He stressed that all taxes due on that income had been paid, hence the existence of the tax form. 

The Abelas’ Żejtun has been put under scrutiny following reports that the couple had acquired it in 2017 just a few months after illegal works had been sanctioned by the Planning Authority. 

At the time, Robert Abela served as the PA’s chief legal counsel and the previous owners had reportedly faced issues in selling off the property due to works carried out without a permit. 

The prime minister’s legal firm made some €1.2 million from the Planning Authority between 2013 to 2019, with their retainer ballooning from €7,300 a month to €17,000 a month in six years. 

Most recently, the Abelas applied to demolish the  villa and build a new one with a basement garage, a pool and a new layout for the landscaping. 

The Superintendence of Cultural Heritage has asked for photomontages to study what effects the placement of the new building could have on these heritage sites. 

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