Chetcuti Cauchi Case: Commission trashes Media Allegations

November 21 19:54 2023 by The Editor Print This Article

The PCAC, the Commission reviewing the Chetcuti Cauchi case, trashed allegations made by a French TV sting that insinuated Maltese lawyer Dr Jean-Philippe Chetcuti boasted of preferential treatment in his clients' citizenship by investment applications, finding no evidence supporting these allegations.

The ruling of the Commission echos prior decisions of other regulators and professional bodies that have cleared Chetcuti on reviewing the footage presented by him, finding that the producers of the French TV programme had fabricated the allegations to fit into their much wider narrative of Malta as an island of corruption.


Complete Exoneration for Chetcuti Cauchi; “No Evidence of Collusion,” Citizenship Regulator

Discrepancies between recordings and published video

Chetcuti had succeeded in obtaining the original recordings of the secretly recorded meeting through French judicial channels and had presented them to the PCAC.  In the Chetcuti Cauchi case, the Commission found significant discrepancies between the original footage presented and the allegations voiced over by the producers in the video as published, leading the PCAC to rule that there was no evidence sustaining the allegations made.

The members (of this Commission) viewed the recordings presented by Dr Chetcuti during his first testimony, together with all documents presented, including those provided to the Commission when he testified the second time before the Commission. ...There are also differences between what shows in the whole program and what appears in snippets, as well as discrepancies between what was said and what was claimed to have been said.
page 19 of the PCAC Decision.

The Chetcuti Cauchi case report on the findings of the PCAC was presented in parliament this week.  The Commission had been petitioned to investigate whether references made by the French TV station to cabinet members Owen Bonnici and Julia Farrugia Portelli, then responsible for the Maltese citizenship by investment programme, constituted evidence of wrongdoing on their part. 

Unedited footage shows Chetcuti contradicting the suggestions of undercover journalist

The French TV program had implied that these connections could influence applications from affluent passport buyers. However, this did not result from the footage presented. Instead, the footage shows the journalist probing Dr Chetcuti about his connections, and Dr Chetcuti clarifying that clients should not understand that he would use such connections to do anything improper. 

The Commission clarified that there was no evidence to establish that the lawyer or any government officials were involved in any misconduct:

For this reasonthe Commission rules that in this case there is no evidence of any act of corruption performed by any public official or by any Minister.
page 19 of the PCAC Decision.


“Distortion of the facts”: French media executives guilty of libel in Chetcuti Cauchi case."

This decision comes as a French court found the media executives making these allegations guilty of criminal defamation in respect of Dr Jean-Philippe Chetcuti and immigration consultancy Chetcuti Cauchi Advisors Ltd. Earlier, Chetcuti Cauchi’s Magisterial Inquiry had cleared Chetcuti and found sufficient evidence for the prosecution of the media executives for defamation.

About Dr Jean Philippe Chetcuti

Dr Jean-Philippe Chetcuti is a prominent but private figure on the Maltese legal scene.  He co-founded Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates, a top-tier Maltese law firm advising international business families and entrepreneurs on legal and tax matters on an international level. In recent years, he made a name for himself in the fields of investment migration and private wealth law and has won a number of accolades including, more recently the Chambers & Partners HNW Lawyer ranking for Malta.