Cassola requests standards investigation into Robert Abela over driver test fraud

Independent candidate Arnold Cassola writes to the Standards Commissioner into Robert Abela for defending Ian Borg and others embroiled in the driving test fraud scandal

Independent politician Arnold Cassola has requested a standards investigation into Prime minister Robert Abela after he defended in a political interview, the involvement of ministers, customer care officials and others in a driving test fraud scandal revealed on Sunday.

WhatsApp chats to a Transport Malta officer in charge of driving examinations have revealed that former transport minister Ian Borg forwarded names of test candidates that had to be “taken care of” to ensure they passed their exam.

The WhatsApp chats obtained show Borg, his canvasser Jesmond Zammit, and his ministry personnel would pile pressure on Transport Malta’s director of licensing Clint Mansueto to “help” candidates at different stages of the licensing process.

A few hours later, Abela defended Minister Ian Borg at the Labour Party headquarters.

In a letter to the Standards Commissioner on Wednesday, Cassola said that by defending “a corrupt system where Ministers and Labour Party insiders make recommendations and request expedited preferential treatment,” Abela is breaching the ethical code.

READ MORE: Driving test fraud: Ian Borg defends himself saying he advised TM on legal adherence at all times

“The way the Prime Minister is defending the Minister who exerted such improper influence and who failed to report the same to the Speaker is a breach of Paragraph 1 of the Code of Ethics.”

Citing paragraphs four and five of the Code of Ethics, Cassola also claimed that  Ministers or MPs also constituted improper influence, not only when being involved in the fraud itself but alsi by not reporting it to the Speaker of the House.