The Maltese police will open a criminal investigation into Education Justyne Caruana and the € 5,000 per month contract she handed over to her boyfriend, former footballer Daniel Bogdanovic.
Standards Commissioner George Hyzler asked the police to initiate an investigation in his report into the matter, where he concluded that “Caruana used his discretion in a manner which constitutes an abuse of power and violated the code. of ministerial ethics ”.
Sources told Lovin Malta that an investigation has been opened. However, police have yet to respond to official questions sent a few days ago.
In March, it was revealed that Caruana had granted Bogdanovic, her boyfriend, a three-month contract worth € 15,000 to visit public schools and write recommendations on how to improve the capacity of the national sports school to produce elite athletes. The education ministry denied the allegations a month earlier.
Bogdanovic did not even draft the said recommendations, the report actually being written by one of Caruana’s consultants, Paul Debattista.
“In fact, there is almost no evidence of Bogdanovic’s involvement,” Hyzler’s report read.
Bogdanovic was an elite athlete in his own right, playing for Barnsley, Sheffield United and Blackpool in his prime. However, his contract with the Ministry of Education raised eyebrows given his lack of teaching qualifications and his personal relationship with the minister.
The report also confirmed that Bogdanovic held other functions within the ministry, including technical work, photocopying, taking visitors’ temperatures, etc. He did not mention what his salary was.
Sources previously detailed how the couple were seen together in and around the ministerial building, working on the same floor. They even accompanied each other on school visits.
He is now Caruana’s partner after his split from former deputy commissioner Silvio Valletta.
Caruana was reinstated in Cabinet in November 2020 following a reshuffle. She had returned after being ousted earlier this year following her now estranged husband’s ties to the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
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