[WATCH] Vince Cassar had raised no objection to private jet decision, PA CEO says

Johann Butigieg said he had informed board chairperson on private jet hiring, despite Cassar later telling MaltaToday he didn’t agree with decision

Planning Authority chairperson Johann Buttigieg was a guest on the second part of tonight's Xtra on TVM
Planning Authority chairperson Johann Buttigieg was a guest on the second part of tonight's Xtra on TVM

Planning Authority board chairperson Vince Cassar had been informed on the decision to hire a private jet to bring a board member to Malta to vote on the db Project, and had raised no objections, the Authority’s CEO Johann Buttigieg has said.

Buttigieg, a guest on the second part of tonight’s Xtra, said board member Jacqueline Gili had booked her family holiday around two to three months before the date had been set for the db Project hearing.

He said he had told Cassar that Gili would need to be brought to Malta by private jet, and that he (Cassar) "didn’t say anything about this”.

This somewhat contradicts what Cassar told MaltaToday last week, when he said he disagreed with the PA’s decision to fly in the board member from Sicily on a private airplane.

“After criticism received on a similar project back in 2016 - where the vote for the permit had been very close - I insisted with the board secretary and with the PA chairperson that all board members should be present for the voting on the db Project,” Buttigieg said.

He said that during an executive council meeting this week, it was decided that no special arrangements should be made from now on for board members to attend hearings.

When it came to the Prime Minister and Transport Minister's comments that they did not agree with the decision to hire a private jet, Buttigieg said that they were entitled to their own opinion, at the end of the day.

Buttigieg insisted that he had no problem if the government wanted to hold an investigation on his decision. He noted, however, that from a loss-making authority, the PA was now generating a profit.

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