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Judge Farrugia Sacco will not resign

MOC President embroiled in ticketing controversy says Prime Minister "is talking nonsense"

Video: Mark Zammit Cordina

Malta Olympic Committee president and Judge Lino Farrugia Sacco this afternoon said he had no intention of giving up either post, saying that Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi was "talking nonsense" when he called for his resignation this morning.

Mr Justice Farrugia Sacco is embroiled in an Olympic ticketing controversy, following an investigation by two undercover reporters from The Sunday Times of London.

The International Olympic Committee’s Ethics Commission rapped Mr Justice Farrugia Sacco last Thursday, saying that by entertaining the two undercover reporters, he had "allowed the journalists to prove their point". 

Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi this morning said that he expected Mr Justice Farrugia Sacco to resign and said the judiciary's credibility was at stake. 

But Mr Justice Farrugia Sacco this afternoon said he had no intention of doing so. 

"The Prime Minister either said what he said for his own reasons, or else he doesn't know the facts. Fourty-nine European countries yesterday said nothing improper happened, and that only the procedures were wrong. Now if we'd like to make up our minds without knowing what went on, we can be mediaeval and do that." 

He said he had every intention of continuing on as MOC chief. "I'll go on working as usual. After all the corruption allegations, it turns out none of it is true. The only thing the IOC decision found was that the English journalists wanted to prove that not everything in the sports world was clean, and that they had proven that."

Mr Justice Farrugia Sacco said that the secret footage published by The Sunday Times of London had been "manipulated".

He now plans on taking the case to the sports world's highest court, the Court of Arbitration for Sports, which is based in Switzerland. 

"I've been advised that there aren't grounds for me to file a suit [against the UK journalists], but I'm not happy with the way things were handled so I'll be taking my case to the World Tribunal of Sports as well as Lausanne courts." 

Mr Justice Farrugia Sacco's MOC colleague Joe Cassar, also censured by the IOC last Thursday, said the media seemed determined to ignore the facts. 

"There have been calls for our resignation. But we should have resigned had we not done what we did. We were working hard to get more for the MOC, but it's been completely twisted around." 

 

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