Labour’s controversial TV host Karl Stagno Navarra has refused to provide information on his employment contract with Air Malta, after the State-owned company recruited the former PN journalist as head of communications.
Air Malta said it was not in a position to satisfy the requirements of a Freedom of Information request received from Times of Malta, as its employee had refused to give his consent.
“The head of communications has not granted his consent for the requested document to be disclosed, and if the document is published this would result in a situation where Air Malta would be in breach of the confidentiality obligations in its contract of employment,” Air Malta said.
Air Malta cited other provisions in the law as a basis for rejecting the FOI request.
The contract, it said, “comprises personal data”. Disclosure “would result in an unjustified interference with a person’s right to a private life” and would have “repercussions on the company” when it came to negotiating other contracts.
The national airline said the package was commensurate with the salary grades of other persons occupying similar roles at the airline.
Mr Stagno Navarra, 49, was employed as head of communications at Air Malta last summer.
Insisting the information is in the public interest, Times of Malta has now made a call for an investigation and possible review of this decision through the Information and Data Commissioner.
Legal jurisprudence in similar cases shows that Air Malta’s rejection may be in breach of freedom of information laws.
Mr Stagno Navarra spent several years as a journalist with the media arm of the PN and was frequently reprimanded by key Labour figures for his reporting when Labour was in Opposition.
However, following the 2013 election and Labour’s return to power, Mr Stagno Navarra switched sides. The criticism emanating from his hard-hitting TV shows was now aimed at his former employer, the Nationalist Party.
In the meantime, he was given a job at Malta Enterprise, the State agency responsible for attracting foreign investment, without any call for applications.
He was also awarded consultancy contracts on a part-time basis with Transport Malta and the Office of the Prime Minister.
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