PN executive president Marthese Portelli
The president of the PN executive committee, Marthese Portelli, has accused Nationalist MP Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando of "acting in bad faith" because the Zebbug MP did not follow the agreed procedure regarding the hearing of his case against Richard Cachia Caruana.
She was replying to the letter issued this morning by Pullicino Orlando, in which he substained his accusations against Cachia Caruana.
Portelli said instead of following the procedures that Pullicino Orlando agreed with, he "chose to repeat what third parties speculated in the media, without giving the accused the opportunity to defend himself."
The PN's executive president also said that the MP failed to adhere to the agreement to present in writing his detailed accusations against Cachia Caruana by Saturday morning.
She also said that Pullicino Orlando failed to submit a list of witnesses detailing over which charge they would be presented.
"I want to make it very clear that in failing to abide by the motion of the executive, it is evident that you did not act in bona fide, and instead you chose to only repeat speculation made by third parties in the media."
"You should understand that this behaviour is unacceptable and goes against the agreement to uphold the principles of natural justice in order to grant the accused the right to prepare his defence in the most appropriate way in terms of charges that were clear and defined."
"Therefore, and notwithstanding any other correspondence that you may send to the Executive before the next sitting, I will be referring your shortcomings to the PN's Administrative Council so that it may consider and take whatever decisions are deemed necessary in these circumstances," Portelli said.
In a statement issued shortly after the publication of Portelli's letter, Pullicino Orlando said that he absolutely failed to understand the reasoning behind what Portelli was saying in the letter.
"I felt that I had complied with the request made by the PN Administrative Council by sending the e-mail linking the five witnesses to the relevant accusations yesterday."
The MP added that Portelli asked him "to flesh my accusations out and I was in the process of doing so."
"I referred to a public declaration by Joe Mizzi in relation to Mr. Cachia Caruana with very serious allegations in an attempt at abiding with what you asked for. It is pertinent to note that Mizzi made these allegations forty eight hours ago on a television programme which he was participating in, together with (PN Whip) David Agius."
Pullicino Orlando added "To date, Mr. Cachia Caruana has not replied to these allegations in stark contrast to what he did with regards to the allegations made by Karmenu Vella last Wednesday, which he replied to immediately."
The MP said that since he now feels "uncertain as to what you expect of me I will not send any further details in relation to my other witnesses by e-mail."
Pullicino Orlando said he will substantiate what he said in the meeting to be held on Tuesday in which the MP expects the witnesses to testify as well. "That is the appropriate forum for these matters to be discussed after all."