The Malta Independent 5 December 2021, Sunday

Speaker 'abysmally and deliberately failed to carry out his duties' – Matthew Caruana Galizia

Thursday, 25 November 2021, 19:34 Last update: about 8 days ago

Matthew Caruana Galizia has fired back at Anglu Farrugia’s lawyer, saying that the Speaker has “abysmally and deliberately” failed in his duties to protect the House from corruption.

This was the latest twist in the saga that started on Sunday, when the son of Daphne Caruana Galizia wrote to Farrugia calling for his resignation for failing to reprimand Labour MP Rosianne Cutajar.

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He took the Speaker to task over the fact that he had simply asked the Clerk to send a letter to Cutajar to inform her that the standards committee had decided to reprimand her, meaning that the former PS was not actually reprimanded, let alone sanctioned. The issue revolves around a decision by the Standards Committee to adopt a report which had found Cutajar in breach of ethics over her role in a failed property deal involving Yorgen Fenech.

The Speaker then sent Caruana Galizia a legal letter penned by Professor Ian Refalo.

The lawyer said the Speaker was rebutting the “unfounded” allegations, and invited Caruana Galizia to brush up on the law, saying that he should not have written directly to the Speaker.

Caruana Galizia has now published the reply he sent to Refalo.

“There is nothing in Cap 113 that makes it a crime to address the Speaker of the House. There is also no article I could find in the law that specifies that private citizens must exclusively address written communications to the Clerk of the House. If it exists, such a law would be pointless, as private citizens may write to whomever they like – there is no Kingdom of Malta presided over by King Anglu the First and his loyal servant Professor Ian Refalo. I find it extraordinary that the Speaker has such little faith in his abilities or those of his staff that he has used public money to hire a private lawyer in private practise to respond to a letter by a private citizen. But let us not get hung up on details.”

“Your letter is not a rebuttal as likewise the letter to MP Cutajar is not a reprimand. The fact remains that the Speaker has abysmally and deliberately failed in his duties to protect the House from corruption, by deliberately failing to reprimand Cutajar as demanded by the Committee for Standards in Public Life following a democratic vote. You can quote entire chapters of the law as much as you like. But I ask you to quote a single sentence of the letter addressed to MP Cutajar that is a ‘stern reprimand.’ If you fail to quote such a sentence, you are admitting that your client has deliberately failed to carry out the decision of the committee, a decision that was taken by democratic vote and which represents a decision taken by the people of this country. By definition, he is therefore not fit for the purpose entrusted to him.”

 

 

  

 

 

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