Commissioner of Standards cannot continue investigation because of pending Court proceedings

The Speaker Anglu Farrugia has stated that the Commissioner for Standards in Public Life cannot continue investigating the case of journalists who were detained for some time in the office of the Prime Minister following a Cabinet meeting in November 2019, because of ongoing Court proceedings. This was after the Police had taken criminal action.

The Speaker’s ruling was given following a request by Government members who sit on the Parliamentary Committee for Standards in Public Life, after Opposition members insisted that the Commissioner’s investigative report should be published immediately.

In his decision, the Speaker referred to the Standing Orders of the House, to the rules about the work of the Office of Standards for Public Life as well as to Court proceedings and in the Court of Appeal.

When he referred to the powers of the Court of Appeal and the Commissioner of Standards, the Speaker said that from what the law says about appeals, the case of the people who were arraigned in court could be heard again. He said that in the light of the fact that there are pending proceedings, the Commissioner cannot continue investigating the case.