NEWS | Wednesday, 05 March 2008
Gonzi sidesteps questions about DOI press card issued to PN member of parliament
Lawrence Gonzi yesterday ignored questions put by MaltaToday over the Department of Information’s issuing of a press card to MP Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando, who used his temporary press card to pose as a journalist for a direct encounter with Labour leader Alfred Sant on television.
MaltaToday is informed that a DOI official was placed under a lot of pressure to ensure that the temporary press card for Pullicino Orlando, valid until 6 March, would be issued in time for the Broadcasting Authority’s press conference with Alfred Sant, which Pullicino Orlando disrupted.
Gonzi stated he had nothing to do with the issuance of the press card.
Asked whether he would be willing to learn of the DOI official who was made to issue Pullicino Orlando’s press card, Gonzi said that at the time of the PBS incident he was in another activity. “At that time no one informed me what had happened.”
Questions sent to the DOI yesterday asking whether former MLP mayor and DOI official Publius Agius was forced to issue the press card to the Pullicino Orlando, remained unanswered at the time of going to press.
Despite the Broadcasting Authority’s rules preventing political candidates posing as journalists on its electoral press conferences, Lawrence Gonzi defended Jeffrey Pullicino’s Orlando behaviour:
“If I were him (referring to Alfred Sant) I would have sat down and tell Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando ‘sit here, ask me the questions, I will answer you.’ If I were Alfred Sant that’s what I would have done.”