Jason Azzopardi contesting Speaker’s breach of privilege ruling

Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi has filed a motion to contest a ruling that found him in breach of parliamentary privilege when he accused Chris Cardona of being a liar and corrupt

PN MP Jason Azzopardi
PN MP Jason Azzopardi

Jason Azzopardi has filed a motion contesting the Speaker’s ruling that found him in breach of parliamentary privilege earlier this week.

The Nationalist MP had accused former economy minister Chris Cardona of being a liar and corrupt during a speech he delivered at the Tarxien PN club last month. The accusation was repeated in a Facebook post.

Cardona asked the Speaker to rule on the matter when Parliament recovened on Monday.

In a ruling delivered on Tuesday, Speaker Anglu Farrugia said Azzopardi’s Facebook post amounted to prima facie breach of privilege. “This ruling does not prejudice any further legal action that a member of this House can take. A member of parliament should show respect to the highest institutions of the country,” Farrugia said.

In his motion, Azzopardi said the Speaker’s ruling created a dangerous precedent. Azzopardi said the Speaker took it upon him to “censor” and “silence” a political debate that took place outside the House. He insisted that Cardona had every right to seek redress in court by filing a libel case.

MPs have a right to contest rulings by filing a motion asking for the matter to be dealt with by MPs.

Cardona has so far not instituted libel proceedings against Azzopardi.

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