Nationalist MP Stephen Spiteri has formally filed a constitutional case to stop the Medical Council from taking action against him for selling medical certificates to patients without seeing them.
Lovin Malta exposed Spiteri’s racket back in 2017 and the Medical Council decided to launch a formal inquiry in September 2018.
Two years have passed since then, and Spiteri is now arguing that the case has now been time-barred because it took longer than two years to conclude and that the investigation itself was unconstitutional.
With regards the time-barring, the Medical Council said in July that the case was delayed because of COVID-19 restrictions, which meant it still had ample time to conclude the case.
However, Spiteri is also challenging the nature of the inquiry, arguing the Medical Council is taking on the role of investigator, prosecutor and judge, looking into his case and summoning witnesses before ultimately deciding whether he is guilty or not. If found guilty, the Medical Council could even suspend Spiteri’s warrant.
Spiteri, through his lawyers Victor Scerri and Duncan Borg Myatt, warned that this procedure meant the Medical Council’s investigation was neither independent nor impartial.
Seeing as the Medical Council’s members lack security of tenure, Spiteri argued that this means they cannot guarantee a fair and impartial hearing.
Spiteri said that he had informed the Council he intends to file a constitutional case, but that the case continued regardless in a “shameless and totally imprudent manner”.
The lawyers recounted how the constitutional court had successfully stopped the pharmacy board from undertaking similar procedures back in 2003, a case they said was identical to Spiteri’s.