After seven months of investigations into allegations brought against Jean-Philippe Chetcuti in a selectively edited hidden-camera report last year, the Investment Migration Council (IMC) has concluded that Chetcuti did not violate its Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct and has, consequently, remove the temporary suspension imposed on his membership in September.
A statement published on the IMC’s website yesterday reads:
“Following a thorough investigation into the reasons that led to a temporary suspension of Dr Jean-Philippe Chetcuti from membership of the IMC introduced on the 26 September 2019, the IMC has decided to remove the suspension and close the investigation. The IMC established that Dr Jean-Philippe Chetcuti has not acted against IMC Codes in the case that was subject to investigation.”
When a video surfaced on French TV last year appearing to show Chetcuti hinting that his firm would receive MIIP application-related advantages thanks to political connections, the Malta Individual Investor Programme Agency (MIIPA) temporarily suspended the licenses of both Chetcuti himself and that of his law firm. The IMC quickly followed suit in suspending the license pending an investigation.
IMI, which saw the video on the same day that it aired, pointed out that Chetcuti did not, in fact, make any of the alleged claims and that the conversation in English, barely audible underneath the French doublage, was clearly exculpatory.
In November, following a detailed review of each of Chetcuti Cauchi Law Firm’s submitted applications, the Office of the Regulator of the Individual Investor Programme (the ORiip) concluded its investigation into the matter, after finding “no evidence of collusion”.
While the investigations were characterized as precautionary, the suspensions were pre-emptive.
In its letter to Dr. Chetcuti, the IMC stated that “reaching a fair and just decision in this case, was only possible by taking into account all evidence, including the ORiiP Analysis and the raw footage of your entire meeting with the French undercover journalist which allows for assessment of the entire context of your discussion with the French undercover journalist. […] On the basis of the ORiiP Analysis, and assessment of the raw footage of the entire meeting the IMC reached a decision to restore your right to officially affiliate yourself with the IMC and close the investigation process. The available evidence shows that you have not infringed the CEPC during your meeting with the French undercover journalist,” added the IMC in its statement.
Last year, Chetcuti Cauchi took legal action in France against the TV channel, which was ordered to release the raw footage from which the reporters had cut the scenes in question. Dr. Chetcuti confirms in a message to IMI that his firm is now suing the network for damages.
Reacting to the news, Dr Jean-Philippe Chetcuti stated “we welcome the finding by the IMC that the unedited raw footage reviewed by this professional body contradicts the assertions made by the French media. We appreciate the thorough scrutiny of this and the Report of the IIP Regulator and welcome the IMC’s conclusions wholeheartedly. Chetcuti Cauchi is a firm built on strong ethical principles and we have full faith in the honourable conduct of our representatives.”
Christian Henrik Nesheim is the founder and editor of Investment Migration Insider, the #1 magazine – online or offline – for residency and citizenship by investment. He is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, documentary producer, and writer on the subject of investment migration, whose work is cited in the Economist, Bloomberg, Fortune, Forbes, Newsweek, and Business Insider. Norwegian by birth, Christian has spent the last 14 years in the United States, China, and Spain.