Jason Farrugia has had his first day in court docket, and it didn’t go properly. The previous chief know-how officer for the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) can’t escape allegations he misused delicate knowledge and facilitated cash laundering.
The 34-year-old Farrugia resigned from his job final December after 10 years when the MGA caught him manipulating the regulator’s knowledge. Quickly after, police arrested him.
In his court docket look this previous Wednesday, he came upon what comes subsequent. The choose within the case, Justice of the Peace Yana Micallef Stafrace, ordered him to jail with no likelihood of bail, in line with The Occasions of Malta.
Nevertheless, Farrugia wasn’t alone. Sitting beside him and likewise going through costs was his spouse, Christine. Each tried to plead not responsible to the accusations, however misplaced. Like her husband, Christine Farrugia shall be held with out bail.
Prosecutors have charged each with cash laundering. Jason was charged individually with a bunch of different alleged offenses, together with extortion and accepting bribes. He additionally faces allegations of revealing delicate and confidential info, in addition to misuse of MGA property. The latter stems from his repeated entry to the data utilizing MGA computer systems.
The court docket was not given any particulars in regards to the investigation that led to Farrugia’s arrest. Nevertheless, sources contained in the regulator claimed that he was being suspected of irregular entry to commercially delicate and confidential info on the authority.
Police investigations into the previous MGA official had been ongoing for six months earlier than Farrugia came upon that he was a goal. Mario Buttigieg, his lawyer, informed the court docket that his involvement extends from the very starting, when the investigation first began.
The spouse’s lawyer, Lennox Vella, strongly appealed for bail. She highlighted the truth that the couple had a three-month-old child and one other one-and-a-half-year-old baby. Holding Christine in custody would solely result in each ending within the care of third events.
Vella tried to impress upon the choose her shopper’s innocence, emphasizing that she had by no means even stepped inside a courtroom for any sort of infraction. Justice of the Peace Stafrace, nevertheless, decided that remanding her into custody was the best choice.
Case Stays Tightly Sealed
All proof within the case is within the data of the magisterial inquiry, lowering the potential of tampering. In the course of the court docket look, little dialogue occurred in regards to the nature of the investigation or the proof.
As well as, prosecutors and the courts aren’t releasing particulars in regards to the nature of the data Farrugia allegedly accessed and what he did with it. Moreover, all through all of those months, he has had no contact with any witnesses.
The court docket inquiry and the police investigation are nonetheless underway. Consequently, there could possibly be extra costs, in addition to extra suspects and witnesses.
The prosecution argued that there’s nonetheless an opportunity for proof tampering, which can be a part of the explanation nobody is divulging most of the particulars. Due to the delicate nature of the case, the court docket granted the prosecution permission to freeze all the couple’s belongings.
Motives Nonetheless Unclear
There are a number of doable eventualities that will have led Farrugia to do what he did, assuming the fees are reputable. The MGA has been the topic of a number of criticisms over the previous few years. There have been allegations of wrongdoing, monetary mismanagement, corruption, and extra plaguing the regulator.
As such, maybe Farrugia was working to guard the MGA, however turned the scapegoat when investigators decided one thing was occurring. In the end, the speculation doesn’t maintain as much as scrutiny.
There may be a connection to Yorgen Fenech, the previous on line casino proprietor who allegedly ordered the homicide of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. She was investigating a case of corruption that spanned everything of Malta on the time. Whereas that was years earlier than Farrugia’s alleged felony exercise, maybe he was purging data and serving to another person keep away from punishment.
Maybe Farrugia was appearing alone. Perhaps he thought he discovered a strategy to redirect MGA funds for his private profit. Or, possibly he was serving to a on line casino operator, or operators, rig studies in order that they didn’t have to surrender a lot income.
There’s nonetheless one different risk that must be thought of. Maybe the Farrugias are fully harmless.