The Malta Independent 8 May 2021, Saturday

Ethics committee has no remit to probe Muscat since he is no longer an MP, Speaker rules

Monday, 11 January 2021, 17:54 Last update: about 5 months ago

Parliament’s ethics committee has no remit to continue investigating Joseph Muscat over a consultancy role he had given to Konrad Mizzi because he is no longer an MP, Speaker Anglu Farrugia ruled on Monday.

Standards czar George Hyzler had found that Muscat had abused of his power when he gave Mizzi the €80,000 job at the Malta Tourism Authority.

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But Farrugia noted on Monday that Muscat resigned from Parliament October and the law that set up the Office of the Commissioner for Standards in Public Life makes no reference to former MPs.

Hyzler’s report was adopted by the ethics committee, which is still debating the subject, but its government MPs argued last week that Muscat should not be sanctioned because he is no longer a Member of Parliament.

In his ruling on Monday, Speaker Farrugia said that the ethics committee was set up at law and its workings could not make reference to parliamentary procedures in the House of Commons.

He added that the law setting up the Standards Commissioner does not refer to former MPs, unlike the British law that was amended to empower the commissioner to probe and impose sanctions on ex-MPs.

In view of this, the committee has no power at law to proceed against a private citizen who was no longer an MP.

 

 

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