Ian Borg denies pressuring transport officials in driving test scandal

Borg says he has ‘no recollection’ of such an episode • Prime Minister says he’s ‘not aware’ of any charges or proceedings against any government minister

Foreign Affairs Minister Ian Borg
Foreign Affairs Minister Ian Borg

Foreign affairs minister Ian Borg has denied pressuring Transport Malta officials to make sure certain candidates pass their driving tests.

Three Transport Malta officials were charged with corruption on Monday for helping candidates pass their theory and practical driving tests in a case that goes back to at least 2020.

The three officials accused in court are Transport Malta director for the Land Transport Directorate Clint Mansueto, former Żebbuġ Labour councillor Philip Edrick Zammit and Raul Antonio Pace. They pleaded not guilty to charges brought against them.

Until this year's March election, Transport Malta was under the remit of Ian Borg as the minister responsible for transport and roads. In court, the prosecution said that Mansueto told police that he was pressured by an unnamed minister to help certain driving test candidates. 

In response to questions sent by MaltaToday, a spokesperson for Borg said that the minister maintained constant contact with the directorates under his portfolio – and Mansueto was no exception.

“Minister Borg always forwards complaints, requests for assistance or suggestions he receives to the CEOs and Directors concerned for their consideration as they would with any similar communication received directly by the entities concerned, without suggesting or pressing for any preferential treatment or wrongdoing,” he said.

Borg said that Mansueto was “a person of good character and hard-working – this without entering into the merits of the subjudice case”.

MaltaToday asked Borg whether he knew about this investigation, and whether he was the minister implicated in this case.

“With regards to the the particular claims you are referring to, he has no recollection of such episode, nor has he ever had ‘Arab nationals’ working at his residence. He does not own any villa either,” the minister’s spokesperson replied.

Among the candidates who were helped in their driving theory tests were two foreign nationals who, according to the police, were working on the villa of a minister.

MaltaToday separately asked Prime Minister Robert Abela whether he is seeking any clarifications from his current cabinet of ministers on the matter.

“The Office of the Prime Minister is not aware of any charges having been issued against any government minister, or of any pending judicial proceedings,” a spokesperson said.

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