The Malta Independent 16 October 2019, Wednesday

Were you never at a social event with people of dubious character, Cardona asks Opposition MPs

Tuesday, 9 October 2018, 15:56 Last update: about 2 years ago

The House of Representatives sitting this afternoon was suspended for a few minutes before the end of question time as a war of words ensued between members of the two sides as Economy Minister Chris Cardona was replying to questions.

Cardona is under fire after a report placed him in a social activity with one of the men accused of killing Daphne Caruana Galizia.

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Cardona was asked by Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi whether he had gone to the police to explain his position after the reports, with the minister replying that the opposition was trying to smear his reputation by linking him to the “macabre” murder.

Cardona said that he found it pitiful that some of the members of the opposition wish that they "somehow make a direct connection between me and the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia".

Everyone knows that lawyers are be exposed to certain contacts and events where there will be many people. 

He accused the opposition of not seeking justice, or what is right, and this, he said, was shown clearly in the Egrant inquiry. 

"This is a clear sign that the opposition are still ready to tarnish our names and characters," he said, showing they were ready to stoop to the lowest level of politics.

He also said that he found it ‘ridiculous’ to try to implicate someone in a murder just because they attended a social event

Is there someone in this room who can exclude that they have never been at an event that did not have a bad person in attendance? Is there someone in this room who can exclude that they have never received a telephone call from a bad person?, Cardona asked.

Once he finished answering the question, deputy speaker Claudette Buttigieg said the next question should be made by PN MP Edwin Vassallo, to which Labour whip Byron Camilleri objected, saying it was the government's turn to ask a supplementary question.

Eventually, it was Labour MP Rosianne Cutajar who asked the minister a question which took him away from the earlier subject, and it was at this point that members of the two sides of the House entered into a shouting match which involved also Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and former Opposition Leader Simon Busutti.

Buttigieg suspended the sitting, effectively ending question time. The House resumed a few minutes later in plenary session.

***

Before the sitting, Economy Minister Chris Cardona said that he hopes to make everything clear in Parliament today.

Entering Parliament building a few minutes before 4pm, Cardona was approached by journalists for his comment.  

“I hope to make everything clear in Parliament today,” was all he said.

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