04 Nov 2021

The Commissioner for Standards in Public Life has dismissed allegations that the Hon. Dr Karol Aquilina acted in a manner that reflected badly on Parliament by driving dangerously, ignoring police orders and driving through a red traffic light.

The Standards Commissioner came to this conclusion after the Hon. Karol Aquilina was acquitted of charges in court arising from the same case.

The case took place in June 2019, when the Hon. Karol Aquilina was driving to Parliament and got between two vehicles that were under police escort. A video shot during this incident was broadcast in edited form by television presenter Karl Stagno Navarra during his programme “Pjazza” in May 2020.

Shortly after airing the video, Mr Stagno Navarra reported the case to the Standards Commissioner and to the police. His programme prompted a second complaint to the Standards Commissioner about the same case.

Once the police began investigating the case, the Standards Commissioner had to suspend his own investigation since article 13(3) of the Standards in Public Life Act does not allow him to investigate a case concurrently with the police.

Following the police investigation, the Hon. Karol Aquilina was charged in court with negligent and reckless driving. On 29 September 2021 the court acquitted the Hon. Aquilina and stated that the charges against him were “absolutely not borne out”.

The conclusion of legal proceedings enabled the Standards Commissioner to continue considering the case. In the light of the court judgement the Commissioner concluded that there had been no breach of ethics, and he dismissed the complaints accordingly.

The Commissioner’s report on this case can be downloaded from here.