The Malta Independent 14 April 2021, Wednesday

Impunity reigns in Parliament, PN MPs say in motion challenging Speaker’s ruling

Thursday, 4 March 2021, 14:33 Last update: about 2 months ago

The Nationalist party has filed a Parliamentary motion calling for the review of a ruling delivered by the Speaker earlier this week.

In his ruling, Anglu Farrugia declared that Standards Czar George Hyzler should not have investigated the 2019 lock-up of journalists at Castille since the case was subject to a criminal investigation.

In his report, Hyzler has found former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to have breached ethics. This was the fourth time that the commissioner found a breach of ethics by the former PM.

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The report was set to be discussed by Parliament’s ethics committee on Monday, but the two government members and the Speaker voted against its publication. The Speaker later upheld a request by ministers Byron Camilleri and Edward Zammit Lewis to declare that Hyzler went beyond his legal remit when he investigated the complaint, which had been filed by the Institute of Maltese Journalists.

Hyzler has rebutted this claim in a letter sent to the Speaker and insisted that Farrugia was “led to issue a ruling he had no power to issue.”

Now, the two PN members on the ethics committee, Karol Aquilina and Therese Comodini Cachia have moved a motion calling on Parliament to declare that the Speaker’s ruling should be reviewed.

In the motion, they argued that the Speaker should always vote in favour, and not against holding a debate. The ruling, they said, held the committee from carrying out its function of overseeing the work of the Office of the Commissioner for Standards. The Speaker, they said, does not have the power to decide on the functions and powers of the Standards Commissioner.

The ruling is in breach of the Standards Commissioner Act and was an abusive and incorrect interpretation of the same law.

They also insisted that every serving or former MP should be held accountable for their actions.

The ruling, they said, was proof that “impunity reigns” in the country’s highest institution – Parliament, and this is causing great harm to democracy and the rule of law in Malta.

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

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