Nationalist MP Karol Aquilina acquitted of dangerous driving

The Nationalist Party wants an investigation into how the internal police video of him driving was passed to Labour media presenter Karl Stagno Navarra

Nationalist MP Karol Aquilina has been acquitted of dangerous driving in an incident that happened over two years ago.

Aquilina had been charged last May over an incident that took place in June 2019 on Triq Diċembru 13 in Marsa, when Aquilina allegedly refused to obey police instructions while driving. 

Footage of the incident, aired on television by the Labour presenter Karol Stagno Navarra on his programme 'Pjazza', shows Aquilina in his car, apparently blocking the route of the ministerial vehicle despite the orders from two police officers on motorbike, accompanying the vehicle. 

On Wednesday morning, Aquilina was absolved of any criminal charges in the case.

Opposition and Nationalist Party leader Bernard Grech congratulated Aquilina on the news, describing the case as an attempt by the Labour Party to dirty the MP's reputation.

Aquilina had resigned from his positions as the party's justice spokesperson and secretary in the parliamentary group when police charged him over the incident.

Given his acquittal, Aquilina will be reappointed into the same positions.

Grech thanked MPs Robert Cutajar and Joe Ellis for taking over Aquilina's positions throughout the case.

"This is the second case in a few weeks where a Nationalist Party spokesperson was acquitted in court after the Labor Party attempted to tarnish their work and reputation," the party said in a statement. 

The Nationalist Party is also calling for an investigation to establish how an internal police video was passed to Karl Stagno Navarra and "manipulated to carry out a character assassination campaign against a Nationalist Party deputy".

Aquilina took to Facebook to announce the decree himself, quoting the court as having said that the accusations brought against him were totally dismissed. 

"Over the last few months I have let the process of justice takes it course in silence. Now that the process is over, I am proud to say that the despicable campaign based on the lies of Karl Stagno Navarra and the Labor Party media stations has exploded in their face."

He said that claims by Stagno Navarra and the PL-owned media that Aquilina tried to hurt police during the incident was a complete lie, so much so that police did not bring this as one of the charges.

"The only abuse in this case was committed by the person who manipulated the video and passed it on to Stagno Navarra. It is a shame that the only video that the police brought to Court was the video broadcast by ONE and not the full video," he stated.

"Stagno Navarra, ONE, and their leader Robert Abela can rest assured that I will continue to fight against corruption and in favour of justice and truth."