[WATCH] Aaron Farrugia no-show leads to parliamentary eruption and suspension of sitting

Opposition MPs ask why Transport Minister Aaron Farrugia did not show up in parliament's chamber to answer questions on Transport Malta despite being in the building

A parliamentary sitting had to be temporarily suspended on Tuesday after the House descended into a frenzy of shouting MPs following Transport Minister Aaron Farrugia's no-show.

During question time, Opposition MPs questioned why Farrugia was not present to reply to questions concerning a video that showed two Transport Malta officials beating up a man in Marsa.

Farrugia had earlier condemned the behaviour of the two officials and said they were suspended pending an internal investigation. Police are also investigating the case.

However, Farrugia was not present inside the chamber to reply to the questions despite being in the building.

Adrian Delia, the PN’s transport spokesperson, was the first to ask questions on the case, with Culture Minister Owen Bonnici replying instead of Farrugia.

The Culture Minister said his colleague was not present because he was on “official duties.”

Delia asked if political responsibility would be shouldered over the case, Bonnici questioned the PN’s motives. “The officials have been suspended and an investigation has been launched. Are we suggesting that for every single incident the minister should resign?” Bonnici said, while also condemning the incident.

MP Mark Anthony Sammut also asked when the officials were employed with the Transport Authority. Bonnici did not have that information at hand.

However, at one point, Opposition Whip Robert Cutajar informed the House that Farrugia was indeed in the parliament building, and a number of Opposition MPs had been with him inside the lift.

“Mario de Marco, myself and Aaron Farrugia all entered the lift together, but he disappeared,” MP Ryan Callus said.

The sitting descended into a tit-for-tat between government and opposition MPs, with Speaker Anglu Farrugia having to suspend the sitting.

The sitting resumed a few minutes later with Farrugia still not inside the chamber.