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[WATCH] Bonnici: 'Azzopardi's fingerprints all over' Lowenbrau deal

Jason Azzopardi called as witness by Marsovin in court case over Lowenbrau redemption, minister says • PN says Azzopardi was never called to give evidence in court

jurgen
Jurgen Balzan
25 January 2017, 12:01pm
The fact that former lands minister Jason Azzopardi was listed as a witness by Marsovin in the legal case concerning the Lowenbrau site shows that he has his fingerprints all over the process, Owen Bonnici says
The fact that former lands minister Jason Azzopardi was listed as a witness by Marsovin in the legal case concerning the Lowenbrau site shows that he has his fingerprints all over the process, Owen Bonnici says
Being listed as a witness by Marsovin shows that Jason Azzopardi's fingerprints are on the Lowenbrau process
Former lands minister Jason Azzopardi was listed as a witness by Marsovin in the legal case concerning the site which the company redeemed the ground rent it had on perpetual emphyteusis since 1990.

In the contentious saga over whether the Government Property Department was pressured to drop the Qormi land’s condition to retain a brewery on site, a tit-for-tat between justice minister Owen Bonnici and Jason Azzopardi has ensued.

In yet another press conference on the saga, Bonnici today said that this shows that "Azzopardi's fingerprints are all over the process which led to the redemption of Lowenbrau land."

Azzopardi is denying even knowing that in 2009 Marsovin redeemed the ground rent on the land it was granted in 1990 – days after signing a €7.8 million promise-of-sale agreement with Vassallo Builders Group Ltd (VBGL) for the land, that was conditional on the removal of an onerous requirement to leave a brewery on site.

While reiterating that he is waiting for the Attorney General's recommendation on what legal proceedings can be pursued, Bonnici said "only [PN leader] Simon Busuttil is believing Jason Azzopardi."

He added that despite his denials, "at least" Azzopardi intervened twice in the process as confirmed by Marsovin's lawyer.

The NAO has been unable to determine with any degree of certainty whether political pressure was applied with the GPD to remove the condition for a brewery, part of the deal the government had with Marsovin for the land it rented for Lm10,000 a year, in perpetuity.

The removal of that condition by the GPD was now found to be irregular, and doubly suspicious when it was so instrumental for Marsovin to sell the land, freehold, to VBGL.

In reaction, the Opposition said that the justice minister has embarked on a personal hate campaign against Azzopardi and has once again levlled false accusations against the Nationalist MP.

The PN said that what Bonnici was insinuating was not logical and facts showed that although he was on thye list of witnesses, Azzopardi had never been called to give evidence in court.

“This is once again proof of Joseph Muscat’s futile strategy to deviate attention from his corruption scandals by throwing mud and making things up,” the PN said.

jurgen
Jurgen Balzan joined MaltaToday in 2011, specialising in politics, foreig...