Speaker Anglu Farrugia has ruled that PN MP Jason Azzopardi was in breach of parliamentary privilege when he uploaded a Facebook post with claims that PL MP Rosianne Cutajar had sworn at him in the House.
In a ruling delivered this morning, Farrugia ordered Azzopardi to delete his Facebook post and retract his comments when he returns to Malta following a parliamentary trip.
Failing that, the case will be referred to Parliament’s privileges committee, where MPs will discuss a course of action.
Azzopardi wrote his post after author and former PL delegate Mark Camilleri published an SMS conversation between Fenech and businesswoman Diane Izzo in which they discussed Cutajar’s speech during a parliamentary debate in November 2018.
During the conversation, Fenech said Cutajar had told Azzopardi he would do well to try and be half the man he [Fenech] was, and lambasted the PN MP as “spiteful and desperate” (ja mejjet bil-ġuħ aħdar).
“When [Azzopardi] responded, he said ‘Hon, the courts will see. Off mic, she told him ‘You’ll see it in your fucking family, you arsehole’ (loosely translated from ‘se tarah żobb f’għoxx familtek ja liba’).”
Azzopardi said Cutajar had called him out because he and former leader Simon Busuttil were the only two PN MPs who had criticised Fenech by name after he was revealed to be the owner of 17 Black.
Cutajar denied ever using that kind of language, neither in Parliament nor outside it, and reported Azzopardi to the Speaker.