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Updated: Impeachment motions against two judges presented

Last updated 12.35 p.m.

Motions for the impeachment of judges Ray Pace and Lino Farrugia Sacco were presented to parliament today, the Prime Minister said this morning.

Dr Gonzi's comments came after an emergency Cabinet meeting this morning which discussed the possible impeachment of the two judges.

The prime minister had warned that the government was prepared to move impeachment motions if the judges did not resign.

The Opposition reiterated this morning that it backed impeachment of Mr Justice Pace, who was taken to court on Thursday and accused of bribery and trading in influence. He is being held in custody.

On Mr Justice Farrugia Sacco, the Opposition said Labour would follow the recommendations of the Council for the Administration of Justice. The judge, who heads the Malta Olympic Committee,  was named by the Ethics Committee of the International Olympic Committee in an investigation into the sale of tickets for the Winter Olympics

Impeachment motions are considered by the Council for the Administration of Justice before being debated and voted on in Parliament.

An impeachment motion needs to be backed by two-thirds of the members of the House to be considered approved.

Dr Gonzi said that according to procedure, the motions would not be published but they had been presented to the Speaker who will pass them on to the Council for its consideration and recommendations.

Should either of the judges resign, the procedures against him will be discontinued.

Dr Gonzi said that if the Commission makes its recommendations after the dissolution of Parliament on January 7, he would still asked for Parliament to be summoned in order for the motions to be voted on.

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