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Claudette Abela Baldacchino's election shames Malta before Europe - Simon Busuttil

New MEP to benefit from immunity despite facing criminal proceedings

Claudette Abela Baldacchino

Claudette Abela Baldacchino

PN Deputy Leader Simon Busuttil said this evening that the election of Claudette Abela Baldacchino to the European Parliament shamed Malta before Europe and called Labour political ethics into question.

Speaking amid constant interruptions in Parliament, Dr Busuttil said he was profoundly concerned by the fact that even though Ms Abela Baldacchino was facing criminal charges of fraud regarding payments for flights, the PL had still allowed her to contest the casual elections for the European Parliament.

The PL had done so even though Ms Abela Baldacchino had earlier not contested the Qrendi local council elections for the same reason, Dr Busuttil said.

As an MEP, Ms Abela Baldacchino would now benefit from immunity and the case against her could not continue.

So would the government now apply to have this immunity lifted?

Interjecting on a point of order, Home Affairs Minister Manuel Mallia said Ms Abela Baldacchino had been accused but not convicted. 

Continuing, Dr Busuttil asked how the government said it wanted Malta to be the best in Europe, and then it allowed Ms Abela Baldacchino to contest. The fact that she was undergoing proceedings and had still been allowed to contest the elections shamed Malta.

Labour MP Carmelo Abela said a person was presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Dr Busuttil said he augured that Ms Abela Baldacchino would be acquitted, but would the government now seek to continue the proceedings?

How ethical was it to allow her to contest when the proceedings were under way? Was the European Parliament less important than the Qrendi local council election?

Indeed, shouldn't Ms Abela Baldacchino herself have refrained from contesting until she cleared her name? Wasn't this what moral ethics was about?

Now that the general elections were past, was it a case of anything goes for Labour? 

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