Speaker says no breach of privilege against Pullicino

Speaker Anglu Farrugia says there is not enough evidence that One News journalist obstructed MP George Pullicino on his way out of Parliament

On Friday, Pullicino asked the Speaker to investigate an incident in which he claimed that he was obstructed while walking out of the Parliament building by a One News journalist.

Pullicino had explained that the young journalist had left the area designated for the media and placed a microphone in front of him as he was on the phone.

Farrugia explained that after consulting police and AFM members on duty on the day and One News editor Aleander Balzan, he had come to the conclusion that there was not enough evidence that the journalist’s actions entailed a breach of privilege.
However, while pointing out that MPs cannot be disturbed while walking in or out of the House, Farrugia warned that “ journalists especially the One News journalist, must respect the designated area outside Parliament and ensure that MPs are not disturbed while walking in or out of the Parliament building.”
In a second ruling, Farrugia said there was nothing wrong or “incorrect” in the MaltaToday report as it rightly pointed out that Carmelo Abela earned the €30,000 salary as government spokesperson over and above the salary for Parliamentary whips based on 75% of Salary Scale 1. On the other hand, the Speaker said he had written a letter to the Maltarightnow editor to clarify the report which appeared in the PN owned news portal which he said might have been “misunderstood” since this made reference to three wage packets.