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Too Early To Say Whether Abela Should Refund €7,000 To State, PL President Insists

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Labour president Ramona Attard has said it’s too early to say whether Minister Carmelo Abela should return €7,000 to the public coffers, following a damning report by the Standards Commissioner which found him guilty of misusing taxpayer money for self-promotion.

“I believe and trust in the institutions, and this report will now be discussed at the parliamentary committee for standards in public life,” Attard said when questioned by Lovin Malta today.

“Commenting at this stage will prejudice the process.”

A report by Standards Commissioner George Hyzler published yesterday concluded that Minister Abela misused €7,000 of taxpayer money by spending it on an advertising campaign aimed at boosting his self-image ahead of a Cabinet reshuffle.

Hyzler said it was up to the parliamentary committee to deem the remedy but he pointed out that the practice in the UK House of Commons is for misused money to be refunded to the State.

Prime Minister Robert Abela has since pledged to draw up clear guidelines to regulate political advertising, while the PN has urged him to sack Abela. 

Attard refused to weigh in on whether such regulations should be introduced, reiterating that she will await the verdict of the parliamentary committee.

“I think these principles should be established by the committee because they’ll have a more complete picture,” she said. “I’ll rely on the recommendations proposed by the committee, if it feels it needs to make them.” 

Do you think Carmelo Abela should refund the money he misused? 

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Tim is interested in the rapid evolution of human society brought about by technological advances. He’s passionate about justice, human rights and cutting-edge political debates. You can follow him on Twitter at @timdiacono or reach out to him at [email protected]

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