Did Jason Azzopardi break parliamentary privilege with regard to Rosianne Cutajar?
Jason Azzopardi uploaded a post on Facebook where he accused deputy Rosianne Cutajar of using certain offensive words in his regard. Seemingly, this post constitutes breaking parliamentary privilege. Why am I saying this?
One: this information comes from a chat sent by Yorgen Fenech to another person referred to as Diana of Terranova regarding something Yorgen Fenech heard. I say this because according to Yorgen Fenech this was said in Parliament and Yorgen Fenech is not a member of Parliament. Therefore, it follows that it was told to him by someone, and he repeated it. So we have here a case of hearsay.
Two: Parliamentary sittings are nowadays being transmitted on TV. This means that if it is true that this was said, it should have been caught on television.
Three: it appears that this was said when Jason Azzopardi was in Parliament. Does this mean that he did not hear it or that nobody drew his attention to it?
Fourth: Jason Azzopardi has now again resorted to Facebook stating that he himself heard Rosianne saying this but she switched off the mike? Am I correct in stating that Rosianne sits on the opposite side a few meters from Jason Azzopardi and therefore if he heard then all the others around heard her including the speaker?
Fifth: Parliament is led by the Speaker. It seems that neither the Speaker heard anything because I am certain that had he heard it he would have undoubtedly censored such a comment.
Sixth: nobody drew the Speaker’s attention to such a comment including Jason Azzopardi himself who is now stating to have heard her.
Seventh: As deputy, Jason Azzopardi knows that whatever is said in Parliament has to be recorded in Debates in Parliament and this is published or printed. As far as I can tell this sentence, which according to Jason Azzopardi himself, was said during a Parliamentary debate, is not registered in the debates that took place during the sitting in question. Even if Jason Azzopardi is alleging that Rosianne switched off the mike this would have been caught by other mikes that were on at the moment.
Therefore, once Jason Azzopardi passed these comments and presented them as being Rosianne Cutajar’s and not as Yorgen Fenech’s, he is potentially guilty of breaking parliamentary privilege vis some vis this deputy.
I am against parliamentary privilege but in this case, I have no difficulty because both are members of Parliament and therefore they are free to talk or defend each other in Parliament.
But behind all this game there is one factor. Whoever believes that this attack on Rosianne Cutajar is coming from outside must forget it. This attack is from inside, from that same Labour Government that for some reason or other does not want Rosianne Cutajar within it. One has to remember that Rosianne Cutajar is contesting on the same district as the Prime Minister. However, in this attack, and this is the innovative aspect – possibly strange but not that strange – Jason Azzopardi has joined those who, as I had the opportunity to point out, does not pressurize certain individuals linked to the Labour Party but always attacks those who appear to have fallen out of grace with the leader of that same Labour Party.