Multiple ministers on Tuesday denied any involvement in a corruption case involving driving licence tests and refused to say whether a cabinet member being embroiled in a criminal case was grounds for resignation. 

Nine ministers who were questioned outside Castille as they exited a cabinet meeting on Tuesday afternoon all professed ignorance of the case, which has led to criminal charges being filed against three Transport Malta officials.  

The officials stand accused of helping learner drivers cheat in their driving theory test. Police are understood to be combing through lists of names and text messages as they work to expose the alleged racket. 

Clint Mansueto, 40, a director of Transport Malta, and officials Raul Antonio Pace, 35, and Philip Edrick Zammit, 23, were charged with corruption on Monday  All three denied the charges when they appeared in court and the three have been suspended from Transport Malta.

The case drew added attention after prosecutors told the court that Mansueto told police under questioning that he felt “pressured” to help certain people pass their test “because they were working at a villa belonging to a government minister”.

A police search of his phone also revealed chats with people linked to a political party supplying information about candidates who were to pass their driving test. 

Neither the minister nor the political party involved were named in court. 

Ministers deny any involvement with Transport Malta driving test corruption case. Video: Chris Sant Fournier

Several ministers distanced themselves from the allegations when asked about them on Monday evening by Times of Malta.

And there were more denials and professions of ignorance on Tuesday afternoon. 

Chris Fearne, Clyde Caruana, Silvio Schembri, Miriam Dalli, Owen Bonnici, Julia Farrugia Portelli, Anton Refalo, Michael Falzon, Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi, all distanced themselves from the case. 

A handful of the minister repeateds the reply they provided to Times of Malta on Monday. 

"Definitely not," Family Minister Michael Falzon said. “I have already replied, I never did such things.”

When Falzon was asked whether he believed any ministerial chiefs of staff were involved in the case, he replied,“your guess is as good as mine.”

Agriculture Minister, Anton Refalo repeatedly said "no", to the questions. Disability Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli and Planning Minister Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi also denied any involvement.

“I spoke to no one,” Energy minister Miriam Dalli said.

Dalli was noncomittal when asked if the minister involved in the case should resign, saying “one has to see the facts of the case in question, then we can decide.”

Economy Minister Silvio Schembri, who denied any link to the case on Monday, echoed her comments. 

"It's not a question of what I believe, but investigations are there and we need to wait till they finish. In the meantime, I have already replied to your questions," he said. 

Finance Minister Clyde Caruana also said investigations are ongoing and said police would take whatever decisions they deemed fit. 

Deputy Minister and Health Minister, Chris Fearne denied his involvement and said he doesn't know who is involved. 

Culture Minister Owen Bonnici said he had nothing to add to the Office of the Prime Minister's statement.

The OPM told Times of Malta on Monday that it was "not aware of any charges having been issued against any government minister, or of any pending judicial proceedings." 

Foreign Affairs Minister Ian Borg, who led Transport Malta during the time which the corruption case was under investigation, was not seen entering or exiting Castille, though OPM sources told Times of Malta he attended the meeting. 

Borg has vouched for one of the men facing charges, Mansueto, but said that he has "no recollection" of any episode matching those recounted in court and did not own a "villa". 

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