Stagno Navarra versus Karol Aquilina: Pjazza presenter files standards complaint

One TV presenter claims Nationalist MP ignored police orders to give way to European ministerial delegation travelling to Valletta

Karl Stagno Navarra (left) and Karol Aquilina
Karl Stagno Navarra (left) and Karol Aquilina

Updated at 4:30 pm with official statement

The Labour Party’s primetime TV presenter Karl Stagno Navarra, presenter of evening chat-propaganda show Pjazza on One, has filed a standards complaint against Nationalist MP Karol Aquilina. 

Stagno Navarra, a one-time Net News anchor – the PN television station – obtained footage from a vehicle’s dashcam following a European ministerial delegation driving from the airport into Valletta for a governmental meeting. 

In a broadcast on Pjazza, Stagno Navarra showed footage which he says shows Karol Aquilina in his car, apparently blocking the route of the ministerial vehicle despite the orders from two police officers on motorbike, accompanying the vehicle. 

Commenting on the footage, Stagno Navarra, who is also employed as a communications official for national airline Air Malta, alleges that Aquilina refused to give way to the oncoming vehicle and that as the PN’s spokesperson on good governance, had shown a bad example by refusing to comply with police orders. 

“This footage shows Aquilina ignoring legitimate orders from the police who were carrying out their duties, repeatedly challenging these orders, endangering the safety of the police with his driving, which was dangerous and careless, even driving past red traffic lights,” he told the Commissioner for Parliamentary Standards. 

“This kind of behaviour dishonours the dignity of his role... I request an investigation.”

Aquilina told MaltaToday he vehemently denied the allegation. “It was no European ministerial delegation. There was no dignitary in the cars,” he said. The MP said he had made himself available to the Standards Commissioner to answer any questions on the matter.

Aquilina hit back at the complaint, calling it an “attack” after having called on Prime Minister Robert Abela to publish the resignation letter submitted by his predecessor Joseph Muscat, and demanding that ministers pay back public funds used on their social media pages. 

“Karl Stagno Navarra and the Labour Party are obviously enraged at the sight of PN Leader Adrian Delia and myself working in tandem with the rest of the PN Parliamentary Group in the fight against bad governance and corruption which have left our country’s reputation and democratic credentials in tatters,” he said. 

Karol Aquilina refutes claims

In an official statement, the PN MP denied the claims, stating he has already contacted the standards commissioner over the allegations.

“I have no issue in the commissioner investigating the allegations made,” he said.

Any explanation needed by the commissioner will be made available, Aquilina said.

He also denied having broken any laws, stating that Transport Malta officials can be seen clearly allowing vehicles to keep on passing through.

He also denied having endangered the policeman’s life, pointing that he had indicated before switching lanes.

The PN MP also said that he did not invoke his parliamentary privilege.

The good governance spokesperson also said that Karl Stagno Navarra’s actions are being given the go-ahead by the PM and a high-ranking official within the police corps.

“They are trying to blackmail me so I stop speaking about the corruption of their friends Keith Schembri, Joseph Muscat and Konrad Mizzi,” he said.