The Malta Independent 21 September 2021, Tuesday

Azzopardi reported to judicial body over social media posts on sitting judge

Wednesday, 15 September 2021, 18:08 Last update: about 5 days ago

The Chamber of Advocates has reported lawyer Jason Azzopardi to Commission for the Administration of Justice over social media posts concerning Mr Justice Giovanni Grixti, Times of Malta reports.

The PN MP, who is one of the lawyers for the family of Daphne Caruana Galizia, had posted comments last month about how the judge had previously purchased a boat from Yorgen Fenech’s late father, George.

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The comments were posted on the same day that Mr Justice Grixti was set to decide on a bail request filed by the suspected murder mastermind. He eventually denied bail.

Times of Malta reports that the president of the Chamber of Advocates, Louis Degabriele, wrote to the CAJ on 10 September asking it to look into the comments.

Degabriele said the Chamber was seriously concerned about the social media posts, which could have given the impression that the Judge had a conflict of interest when deciding on the bail request. He said the comments may have impacted the tranquillity a judge needs to be able to decide on something objectively.  

Arguing that it was unacceptable to try and influence any decisions, Degabriele said such remarks should only be passed in a courtroom.

Azzopardi told Times of Malta that he was being targeted in a concerted effort to silence opposition MPs. 

He said this development was of concern to any politicians who are also lawyers, including the Leader of the Opposition.

The MP also claimed that the “instigators” behind this move had previously unsuccessfully tried to have him arraigned over the matter. “I will not be silenced,” he added.

The Commission for the Administration of Justice is tasked with the discipline of members of the judiciary as well as lawyers. It has the power to disbar lawyers.

Azzopardi has three weeks to reply in writing.  

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