The Malta Independent 17 August 2022, Wednesday

PL MEP facing fraud charges will benefit from parliamentary immunity

Malta Independent Wednesday, 24 April 2013, 20:14 Last update: about 9 years ago
Update adds PN statement


PN MP Simon Busuttil slammed the labour party for making a mockery of Malta in Brussels. “The newly elected MEP Claudette Abela Baldacchino is currently faced with court proceedings for fraud. Ethics would call for a person facing court charges to retire their political aspirations until their name is cleared.” “This is about having a moral obligation to take a step back, instead of ridiculing Malta in Brussels,” Dr Busuttil said in parliament this evening. The PN MP speculated that labour may have pushed her candidature in order for her to benefit from parliamentary immunity. He questioned whether labour will now apply for this immunity to be lifted. In a fiery exchange between the opposition and government benches, government whip Carmelo Abela interjected, saying that a person is innocent until proven guilty. Minister Manwel Mallia also felt it necessary to call a point of order, clarifying that Ms Abela Baldacchino has been accused but not convicted. Dr Busuttil countered by saying that Ms Abela Baldacchino was prevented from contesting the Qrendi local council elections, yet she was allowed to contest the MEP elections. “I either have to conclude that labour do not take the European parliament seriously, or now that the general election has passed they feel as if they can do what they want,” Dr Busuttil said. PN statement - Dr Muscat applying 'two weights and two measures.' "Prime minister Joseph Muscat found no difficulty in allowing Ms Abela Baldacchino to contest the MEP  election. This is the same Dr Muscat who, on other occasions, stopped others facing criminal charges from contesting elections on the Labour ticket, and others were even expelled from the party," a PN spokesperson said. "Correctness would have required that Dr Muscat stopped  Ms Abela Baldacchino from contesting this election. But Muscat chose otherwise, applying a different yardstick in Ms Abela Baldacchino's regard." The PN spokesperson said that "this is another example of Dr Muscat's inconsistency in applying two weights and two measures .”
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