14 June 2006

The Web
Business Today

Fifth driving examiner suspended

Karl Schembri

The Transport Authority has just suspended the fifth driving test examiner out of a total of six as police investigations into the bribery scandal enters its third week.
Speaking to Business Today last night, the authority’s Chief Executive Gianfranco Selvaggi confirmed that yet another examiner was under investigation.
“We want to make sure everything is done properly, that is why the five examiners are not coming to work and we hope the police finalise their investigations this week,” Selvaggi said.
The authority is expecting criminal charges to be filed against the examiners this week, he added.
But asked whether the authority would be looking into the exams held over the last couple of years in the wake of potentially tampered results, Selvaggi downplayed reports of a wide-ranging racket going on.
“Everything has yet to be proven,” he said The driving test was in chaos in the last weeks with four out of six examiners suspended, but now that only one is left, virtually all of the set tests have been postponed.
Revealed by MaltaToday two weeks ago, the scandal would involve at least one motoring school based in Birzebbuga – Swallow Garage – which would have allegedly asked driving students to pay money in exchange for assurances that they would pass the driving test and receive a licence.
All examiners were called by the police for interrogations, with two let free after hours and the rest kept under arrest for 48 hours as they were questioned about their alleged involvement.
One of the arrested is known to be a canvasser of Transport Minister Jesmond Mugliett, while another one who is known to be on drugs rehabilitation, is also being investigated on suspicions that he held the driving test under the influence of alcohol following a report submitted to the police by an exam candidate.
The owner of Swallow Motoring School, Saviour Abela, was evasive when asked about the investigations, but confirmed that his company was implicated in the scandal.
“I have nothing to do with this,” he said initially, adding later on that an employee had been named. “There was an employee… I sacked him. I won’t speak any further.”

Links: www.maltatoday.com.mt/2006/05/28/t2.html

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