The Malta Independent 10 December 2022, Saturday
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Aaron Farrugia accused of ‘running away’ from PQs amid latest Transport Malta scandal

Sabrina Zammit Tuesday, 15 November 2022, 17:17 Last update: about 24 days ago

Tuesday evening’s Parliamentary plenary session had to be briefly suspended in order for Speaker Anglu Farrugia to maintain order, after PN MPs accused Transport Minister Aaron Farrugia of “running away” from questions on the latest scandal to hit Transport Malta earlier in the day.

Two Transport Malta officials were “immediately suspended” in connection with a video which emerged on Tuesday showing them punching the driver of a car while he lay defenceless on the ground.

This was stated by Culture Minister Owen Bonnici in parliament, who was answering questions on behalf of Transport minister Aaron Farrugia.  Farrugia was not present at the plenary sitting, although PN MPs insisted that he had been there and that they had gotten into the lift with him.

The alleged incident happened on Qormi Road in Marsa, on 26 October.

News reports read that the motorist had been pulled over for drink driving.

The video, first posted by Lovin Malta, shows a Transport Malta official getting off his motorbike, heading over to the man who was face down on the ground and punching him in the head, while another officer also joined in.

Replying to a question by PN MP Darren Carabott, Bonnici could not cinfirm whether suspended officials were still being paid, but invited the opposition to present their questions in writing to the concerned ministry.

Asked where the Transport Minister was during the parliamentary sitting, Bonnici said that Farrugia was out on governmental duty and thus could not answer the questions personally.

Answering questions by PN MP Adrian Delia, Bonnici also confirmed that there is currently an ongoing internal investigation but could not give details as to who was leading it.

Additionally Delia also asked whether political responsibility was going to be taken, since suspended officials are there to safeguard the public, to which Bonnici said that not everything needs to be turned into a political argument.

Transport Minister suspected to have been in parliament but “ran away”

During the delivery of the parliamentary questions, which were supposed to be answered by the Transport Minister himself, the PN’s whip Robert Cutajar revealed that the minister was in parliament at that instant.

PN MP Ryan Callus, also confirmed this after saying that he together with PN MP Mario De Marco were accompanied in the lift by Transport Minister Aaron Farrugia.

At this stage, Delia also started to ask Speaker Anglu Farrugia as to why the minister wasn’t inside to answer the questions himself.

Although the speaker was trying to get the parliament in order, the opposition continued to shout and demand that the Transport Minister come in, after which the Speaker suspended the session to get the room in order.

After the session was restarted the PN’s whip Robert Cutajar sought a ruling asking that the police access the parliament’s cameras to confirm Aaron Farrugia's presence and to ascertain why he failed to do his duties as minister.

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