The Malta Independent 5 December 2020, Saturday

Magistrate demands explanation from Jason Azzopardi on radio comments

Tuesday, 10 November 2020, 13:21 Last update: about 24 days ago

Magistrate Rachael Montebello has ordered Jason Azzopardi to explain comments the Nationalist MP made during a radio show.

Azzopardi claimed that a Cabinet member, who is not a lawyer, has been implicated in a crime by Vince Muscat, one of three men accused with the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Azzopardi, who is also representing the Daphne Caruana Galizia family in various legal proceedings, said Muscat (Il-Kohhu) made these claims in a request for a presidential pardon, adding that Prime Minister Robert Abela has known about this for months.

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Azzopardi did not mention the crime. Muscat had told the police that he can name a Labour politician who was involved in the plan for a heist on the HSBC headquarters in 2010.

“The Prime Minister knows, he has known since March... that Vincent Muscat, in the information he gave to police this March, and I’m not entering into any details, mentioned a person who occupies a Cabinet post... When I say that in the Cabinet there is someone who, a first-class criminal has mentioned him in connection with a serious crime that happened years ago… not connected to Daphne’s murder, but which happened before. Don’t ask me what the crime is. He is not a lawyer…” Azzopardi said on 103FM.

In a court decree this morning after an application filed by the defence of Yorgen Fenech, accused of masterminding the murder, Magistrate Montebello said it was “shameful” that the acts of the case that had yet to be presented in her court, were being broadcast in the press. “This is an act of contempt to the judicial institutions and it undermines the integrity of the proceedings and good administration of justice,” she said.

Montebello said Azzopardi had to answer for the dissemination of the information in court.

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