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Pullicino Orlando: ‘Time for reflection’, Gonzi: ‘no shred of evidence’ in RCC accusations [VIDEO]

PN executive clears Richard Cachia Caruana, passes motion not to have party strategist testify and issues statement of solidarity.

Matthew Vella
18 July 2012, 12:00am
Nationalist MP Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando leaving PN headquarters at 11pm. Photo: Ray Attard/Mediatoday
Updated today at 9:10am.

Photo and video Ray Attard/Mediatoday

UPDATE: A meeting will be held with the Prime Minister and Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando during which Pullicino Orlando is expected to explain his position vis-a-vis the party. The meeting was called by Pullicino Orlando after yesterday's vote, and the conclusions emerging from the meeting are expected to have a bearing on Gonzi's electoral options.

Friends close to Pullinco Orlando said that the Zebbug MP was "exhausted" after yesterday's session - in which he was criticised by a number of senior MPs - but that he was very clear on the steps that needed to be taken.

Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said a five-hour meeting on the accusations of collusion against the party's chief strategist Richard Cachia Caruana, had cleared the former permanent representative to the EU.

The unanimous vote was taken by a show of hands at the end of a meeting in which EU Commissioner John Dalli testified by teleconference in a 25-minute speech, answering to questions made by Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando, who requested that Cachia Caruana be expelled from the party.

Gonzi said there was no "shred of evidence" to substantiate the accusations made against Cachia Caruana, which led to a motion approved by the PN executive committee not to forge ahead with any testimony from Cachia Caruana.

In comments given to MaltaToday, Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando said this was "a time for reflection for [him] after a very tiring evening."

The motion, proposed by MP Francis Zammit Dimech and seconded by minister Jason Azzopardi, resolved in an expression of solidarity towards Cachia Caruana.

"Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando was given the space to make his presentation, and this process was carried out democratically, so the final decision has to be respected.

"Two of the witnesses summoned by Pullicino Orlando - two Labour MPs - chose not to attend this meeting, but their affidavits were still read out, although there was no 'counter-examination' of their claims."

Gonzi said this was "a typical Labour tactic" at making accusations without being held up to scrutiny.

The prime minister also said that the two other witnesses advanced by Pullicino Orlando - John Dalli and Gordon Pisani - presented "no single proof" on his accusations made against Richard Cachia Caruana.

"John Dalli said he had some information to pass on to me, which we decided to discuss in a forthcoming meeting."

Asked about Pullicino Orlando's status within the party, Gonzi said the PN's executive had already taken its decision a week earlier when it banned the MP from running on the PN ticket for the forthcoming general elections.

"Once again we have seen proof of Labour's outdated tactics, and personal attacks," Gonzi said. "I want to know what the investigations Joseph Muscat purported to have had carried out on this incident were. Did he investigate the allegations made by Joe Mizzi or Karmenu Vella, for which they were solely responsible as ministers?"

Pullicino Orlando accused Cachia Caruana of having colluded with high-ranking members of the Labour administration led by Alfred Sant between 1996 and 1998 "in an attempt at furthering his personal interests whilst putting his colleagues in the Nationalist administration led by Dr Eddie Fenech Adami between 1987 and 1996 in a bad light."

Pullicino Orlando also claimed that Cachia Caruana colluded with high ranking officials representing foreign states in a clear attempt at bypassing the Nationalist Party parliamentary group and the Maltese parliament, and that he "fomented the unrest which had led to the difficulties being faced by Dr Gonzi, both within the party and in Parliament."

The MP presented five witnesses to make his case: two Labour MPs said they will not attend, although they have made their accusations public already; the Prime Minister's chief of communications Gordon Pisani has denied Pullicino Orlando's allegations, while former Commissioner of Police George Grech has denied allegations of a botched police investigation made by Labour whip Joe Mizzi.

Also present for the PN's executive committee meeting tonight was former prime minister Eddie Fenech Adami, who expressed his "absolute trust" in Cachia Caruana.

The meeting also saw transport and investments minister Austin Gatt claiming that Pullicino Orlando had told him during the election victory celebrations of 2008 that he had threatened to create problems if he was not offered a Cabinet post.

Matthew Vella is editor and MaltaToday on Sunday.

He joined Mediat...
gIOVANN DeMartino
Imissu mhux beccub il-poplu! Kieku kien jaghti 6 rebhiet lill-PN minn seba' elezzjonijiet?
gIOVANN DeMartino
Nispera li jkun verament time for reflection. Sicerament. Tliet professjonisti, adulti u maturi, qed ihallu lil min jinqeda' bihom ghall-ambizzjoni personali tieghu. Juzhom u jarmihom. Anzi hemm minnhom min jiftakar minn x'hiex ghaddewna dawn meta kienu fil-gvern. B'ghemilhom ghamlu hsara lilhom infushom, lill-partit u lil pajjizna. Tibqghux tpaxxuhom ghax dawk joboghdukom mibeghda tal-genn.
Joseph Angileri
Hekk kellu jkun ir-rizultat kienet x'kienet il-problema u kien minn kien il-Partit Politiku involut ----- fl-ahhar minn l-ahhar x'jemmen il-POPLU li jghodd. Quo Vadis now!!!!! L-aqwa li l-poplu mhux beccun.
Basil Borg
It is obvious that RCC is out and as a golden handshake he was given a tribute of 'absolute trust'.And how come it was an ex leader, Dr Fenech Adami, who gave his opinion and not the supposedly present leader Dr Lawrence Gonzi?
Polly Bonello
It is humiliating for Dr Lawrence Gonzi to be saved by Dr Fenech Adami; this is a solid proof, that Dr Lawrence Gonzi lacks leadership qualities. It simply shows that the political image fed to us is build on hype.
charles philip zammit
Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando was given the space to make his presentation, and this process was carried out democratically, so the final decision has to be respected. democratically my foot. a vote take with a show of hands. and what were those thugs doing inside the building this time was there any need for them. did anybody think that the labour marmalia of the 80s were going to force their way in....or were they there just in case some armtwisting was needed??????
Did the press conference give the time and TV station when next week's episode of this telenovela would be screened?
Joe Borg
Good video - if a pictures paints a thousands words, a video tells a story. You can clearly see Austin Gatt's personal enforcer who looks like he is just out of an Iraqi torture chamber. Right across the road the street thugs which are such a part of the party. The only reason they are not wearing brown shirts is because neatness and order is not in our Maltese character - the rest of the demeanor though is not lacking in any way. The only thing that was missing was a yellow star on JPO's chest. The frame-up in the end was on JPO and the cover up was on RCC. Murders, drug lords, massive theft of state funds - all swept under the carpet. I have seen more effort put into an investigation when someone disputed a parking fine. Last time i saw a case wrapped up so quickly was when one of Eddie's friends ran over with his yacht and kill a poor old man in a small boat. That too was wrapped so far the corpse was still dripping sea water when the case was closed.
Jes Abela
bla bla bla bla..... JPO zelaq fin nixef meta minghalih kien ser isib xi kenn f'deputat laburista, dawn sabtuli il bieb f'wiccu u halluh wahdu. Bl affidavid ma naslu mkien. Kieku kellhom iddicenza Vella u Mizzi u anki l-kuragg kienu immoru u jatu palata lil heroe tal lejber 'JPO' pero dan am sehhx. Issa JPO huwa izolat u irid jerfa ir responsabilita wahdu. I pity Dr Pullicino. Issa ma baqax triq ohra hlif li tirrizenja mill PN u tmur tbahhar mal lejber.
S Scerri
Election is now inevitable after summer. The separio is down.
Il-veru tal-Labour jaraw sal-ponta ta' imneherhom!!!!.... jekk jaraw s'hemm. Mela helsu minn RCC meta S'ISSA ghandhom indikazzjoni li jirbhu l-elezjoni li gejja. Kienet ghaqlija meta RCC seta jaghti handover. U jekk jafu li RCC huwa strategista mill-aqwa, u li issa ma ghandux x'jaghmel, mhux ser jintefa l-istamperija u jizviluppa strategija biex il PN jerga jirbah l-elezzjoni Il-veru bciecen tal-Labour. Kif tista qatt xi darba tohlom li tavdahom bi strategija ta' Malta
gIOVANN DeMartino
Kemm jiflah ikun Mitlufa dejjem. Anki fil-qorti. Jekk jaqtaghha kif trid int, allura l-qorti OK. Jekk le, il-qorti korrott. Jien lil RCC ma nafux, il-fatti huma li xhieda kontra tieghu ma kienx hemm. Mizzi u Vella tal-lejber bezquha u laghquha. Allura xorta hati dan? Jekk il-gtvern jaghmel xi haga tajba, ghax gejja l-elezzjoni; jekk ma jaghmilx ghax fallut. Kelma lit-tliet Onorevoli. Tliet professjonisti maturi. Huwa veru time for reflection. Tibqghux tpaxxu lil min sallab lil Malta kull meta kien fil-gvern. Rabbu l-ghaqal ghax jiswa lilna lkoll. Dik hi x-xewqa tal-partitarji PN.
Basil Borg
Democratic, with a show of hands and no secret vote? The old guard were forced to gather around RCC lest other MPs would be tempted to score against him, simply because RCC is not exactly loved and wanted! Other words are superfluous.
RCC can never be found guilty. He is indispensabile. It is a common seen by experience, that excellent memories do often accompany weak judgments.
So does anyone in his right mind believe that the trouble within GonziPN, therefore the trouble within government is over? Is the Prime Minister for real? Votes were taken by show of hands, as if someone will dare vote against the oligarchy, if there ever was a farce in this country, yesterday's GonziPN executive with EFA and all was the best example. Now we wait for who will shoot the next salvo at GonziPN.On another note the votes were unanimous, so did JPO and Franco Debono vote in favor of RCC as well?
Tony Fenech
JPO tried his best to rejuvenate the PN Administration and now he is in a futile position, and reflection, he is disheartened and with prejudice comments made by Dr.Gonzi last Saturday waived the accusations made by JPO by declaring last Saturday as this was all a frame up towards RCC. Prejudgment by the Prime Minister to influence the outcome became a farce. JPO leaving such a biased PN executive as what was thought beforehand to end up in disarray. A conniving clique. JPO is not the type of character to be spontaneous and he came out to consider and reflect what his next move would be. He is a realistic man and made the right decision. Hope he will leave this Party for good. Either resign as member of Parliament or declare its time for the clique to start counting the final days of their downfall by challenging the Prime Minister if he is backed by a majority in Parliament and could even challenge the Prime minister to reconvene parliament within a week. This is best for our nation as the administration is in tatters and it is not good at all for the whole country's stability, let's be honest for 21 weeks until October 2012 the parliament would not have functioned and this is a disgrace to democracy just to accommodate the clique within the PN administration. Dr.Gonzi it seems you time is up.
Joe Borg
Classic GonziPN. Those posters showing Gonzi covering his ears are not good enough. Next version should show Gonzi sticking his head somewhere - let's say in some sand.
The soap opera continues....The Prime Minister has the audacity to point PN's problems on PL. What a hypocrite. The problems within GonziPN are fueled within GonziPN. The uncertainty on our economy continues to create havoc. The sooner we get rid of this Government the better. GonziPN need to sort their problems at the benches of the opposition and renew themselves for the next 10 or 15 years or maybe more.
The soap opera continues....The Prime Minister has the audacity to point PN's problems on PL. What a hypocrite. The problems within GonziPN are fueled within GonziPN. The uncertainty on our economy continues to create havoc. The sooner we get rid of this Government the better. GonziPN need to sort their problems at the benches of the opposition and renew themselves for the next 10 or 15 years or maybe more.
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