Updated | 'Gonzi received requests to issue passports to foreign secret service agents'

Home Affairs Minister ‘not fit for the job’, Opposition spokesman for home affairs Jason Azzopardi says.

Opposition MP Jason Azzopardi
Opposition MP Jason Azzopardi

Manuel Mallia was not fit for the job as home affairs minister, the Opposition's spokesperson for home affairs said in parliament.

"He is not fit for the responsibility he should be shouldering. Home Affairs policy has now become a vastly subsidised ego trip. The ministry has been poorly administrated where arrogance reigns and the bad has become good," Jason Azzopardi said.

"The minister believes he is the law, and not the servant of the law. He rendered the budget for the home affairs irrelevant."

The scathing description of Mallia came as Azzopardi was addressing the committee approving the home affairs budgetary vote. Among other ministry officials and representatives of the Armed Forces of Malta, Police Commissioner Peter Paul Zammit is present in parliament.

The Nationalist MP said a clear example of "bad judgement" was the ministry's decision to use police officers as waiters during a social function.

"Malta laughed and the Police Corps became the butt of all jokes when officers were asked to serve as waiters," Azzopardi said.

He said there was nothing in the budget speech which focused on insurance policy and on increased fines for those found guilty of attacking an officer; no mention of new recruits for the Armed Forces of Malta and nothing on the formation of a police union.

Azzopardi accused the minister of adopting "two weights two measures" after he [Azzopardi] had requested information in parliament on the discovery of 60 pills on an inmate at the Corradino Correctional Facility.

The MP had asked the minister to confirm whether there had also been three inmates who had tested positive to drug tests and that an inmate had attempted suicide.

"The minister's reply had been that the Opposition had tarnished the police's investigation. Incredible. But when l-orizzont reported that inmates had been found in possession of substances, the ministry didn't accuse the newspaper of ruining the police's investigation. Two weights, two measures," Azzopardi said.

He said, that the government had politicized the Armed Forces of Malta with the speedy promotion of Labourites as Lieutenant Colonels and the placement of ministry officials on a board promoting AFM members. [CLICK HERE for more on this]

According to Azzopardi there were 18 AFM members who have initiated lamentation procedures over the promotions. "I don't care about their political allegiances, but these officers in actual fact support the Labour Party. And today they feel hurt," he said.

Azzopardi said that instead of fighting organised criminality, the police were now being sent investigating whether individuals have been taking pictures at the airport. Azzopadi was referring to the Norman Vella case, who was arrested and questioned on allegations that he had photographed two government officials as they passed through passport control.

"This government has no red lines. Its arrogance knows no boundaries," he said.

Citizenship scheme

Turning his attention to the Individual Investor Programme, Azzopardi said that over the past years, during Lawrence Gonzi's tenure as Malta's prime minister, requests had been made by "a country" for government to grant secret services agents a Maltese passport.

"The Maltese government had on numerous occasions been approached by foreign governments requesting Malta to issue Maltese passports to their secret services agents. I won't name the countries. But there are agents who cannot enter other countries because of their citizenship," he said.

Azzopardi said Gonzi's government had always, and without exceptions, refused to grant Maltese passports.

"Lawrence Gonzi had always refused to accept such requests, irrespective of how plausible the request would have been," he said.

"What are €650,000 for certain countries? These agents will always appear clean and they have ways to pass the due diligence. Can the government guarantee that no passports will be issued to secret service agents? It is to this point that government is playing with the country's security."

 

More in Budget 2014
avatar
So we will get thousands of secret agents to apply for citizenship.... that seems like the plot of a James Bond movie.
avatar
Just because Jason said Gonzi did not issue passports to british agents does not mean that is what happened. We know jason's credibility, which less ia than zero, preferring a lackey over an NGO when giving a property in Valletta and lying about it. This guy is incredible.
avatar
(1) I find Jason's criticism rather superficial. I have no axe to grind, but I would believe and assume, that a huge number of politically motivated injustices within the army were corrected by MM. (2) AHA! It has now been revealed that foreign Governments did not respect Gonzi that much; and considered his Government fair game. Otherwise they would not have bothered asking for shady passports!
avatar
I do not have much sympathy for politicians of any party. Somehow they are all on the same track and that is to screw the citizen every way they can. When the PN was in power they gave away Our Nationality and our Livelihood to any illegal immigrant that invaded our island. According to ex PM KMB in the last five years the past administration gave away about 7000 Maltese passports to the illegal immigrants who took the liberty of invading our island and are taking away our Livelihood. Now comes the PL who is selling our Nationality and our Livelihood to anybody that can come up with thirty pieces of silver. So you see one Political party is no better than any other. The only difference is that one party does it openly and the other does it discreetly, but they both treat us as second class citizens. I must admit that DR Gonzi did put the Divorce Initiative to a vote unlike this administration who decided on their own to sell our Nationality and our Livelihood disregarding our wishes and our thoughts on the matter..
avatar
"The Maltese government had on numerous occasions been approached by foreign governments requesting Malta to issue Maltese passports to their secret services agents. I won't name the countries. Jason bhas-soltu qieghed ihallat il hass mal-qarabali.Dejjem jekk hu veru ghax skond hu tant hu serju li ma hux se jghid minn huma dawn il pajjizi, dawn x'ghandhom x'jaqsmu mal l'iskema tal IIP dawn mhux secret agents imma nies sinjuruni li jistghu jinvestu f'Malta. Jista Jason jassigurana li mil 6,800 persuna li hadu ic-citadinaza fl'ahhar 5 snin ma hemmx nies tas-servizz sigriet ta pajjizi ohra? Jista jassigurana li ma hemmx minnhom li huma teroristi? Jista jassigurana li ma hemm hadd minnhom li mhux involut fil-prostituzzjoni organizzata? jista jassigurana li ma hemm hadd minnhom li mhux imdahhal fil-hasil ta flus? Meta jassigurana u jassigurana bis serjeta U MHUX BIL-PAROLI BISS imbaghad nibdew bìnghatu nkaz tal paroli tieghu.
avatar
what mallia did in the afm is just giving justice to who have been victim of the pn in 25 years time!
avatar
This guy keeps harping on and on and on on anything...THIS MEANS THAT HE KNOWS THAT NOBODY CARES REALLY WHAT HE IS ON ABOUT
avatar
Jealousy gets you nowhere Mr Jason Azzopardi. What a pathetic man you are.
avatar
Dear Dr Azzopardi . The zero tolerance of drugs in the civil prisons is not a joke as well. But you choose to be puerile as usual. Maybe you and gonzipn looked at it as something trivial. What were your views then when you were a minister. None I should say and all Malta knew about the drug situation at the Prisons. All Malta knew that there was a drug queen who lived in luxury in her cell. And that was no joke at all. I am sure that you should have looked at the previous PN minister as unfit for the job. But then you did not utter a single word. Yes you did when you allocated that garage to that well known PN supporter. And all Malta knew about that as well Dear Dr Azzopardi. By the way when is your next konferenza stampa due please. You are rendering yourself as the merry andrew of these islands.
avatar
are you such an idiot to believe mr azzopardi that without a citizenship secret agents will not enter our country!? god only knows what have already, is and will be passing from our country regardless of the sale of citizenship! you are just arrogant and you will never work for the good sake of this country! if mallia thinks he is the law, the pn and you mr azzopardi think that you are GOD almighty... mr azzopardi so if someone breaks the law at the immigration office at the airport the police should not interven? is this the kind of security that the pn wants? mr azzopardi making such statements will not provide a different picture of an all new pn with a social conscience! but rather a more pathetic and arrogant picture.
avatar
Dan Jason Azzopardi bhuwa l-aktar kelliem tal-PN antipatiku u kiesah li qatt kellhom. Ibqa sejjer hekk Jason!
avatar
x'faqar ta deputati ghandna fil-parlament maaaaaaa!!! Bhal dak li qallu mhux dejjem ghamlulhom passaporti folox lil l-agenti sigrieti taghhom. U min kienu dawn il famuzi agenziji sigrieti (sic) li talbu lill Gonzi biex johorgilhom passaport? go and tell it to the marines Jason hi !!!!!
avatar
Going from " FAIRY TALES" and Nursery Rhymes theme to "James Bond" theme ~ with a P.N. Leader filling the role as our very own "DR NO" and at this rate "DR NO hope" ~ No hope at all , utterly hopeless !
avatar
Does this chap KNOW WHAT HE IS SAYING????? If Gonzi had issued passports to Secret Agents.......he would know their fake names..........and.would they remain secret agents. So to be keep their secret, they would gave to shoot Gonzi, mhux hekk. Dan mahniex jewn.
avatar
Ghira bazwija ghal ministru mallia! Kellek bzonn ghamilt success fil-politika u fil-professjoni ta avukat bhalu! Sour grapes u negativizmu!
avatar
How convenient for Azzopardi to propitiously remember that alleged foreign governments requested Maltese passports for their spies. Not just once, but "On numerous occasions." You'll excuse me if I request that you be forthcoming with the details. Oh, I suppose that no records were kept due to "Security reasons." Until Azzopardi furnishes the countries, dates, and other pertinent details I'll just attribute his statement to the usual PN lie machine.
avatar
Has the Hon Jason Azzopardi stopped to think whether he was fit to take the job he was assigned when Minister? Does he honestly think that he rose to the occasion or did he succomb to temptations, pressures from friends of friends etc etc.? But then honesty is not a buzz-word practiced by the PN - they have been so dishonest, liars and corrupt that the people booted them out with the biggest thrashing in Maltese history. The Hon Jason Azzopardi has not learnt the principal lesson that HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF.
avatar
UNCURABLE ! Still suffering from withdrawal symptoms from his Minister's Chair and is just being a CRYBABY for the CRYBABIES that go knocking on his door because the going is not going as good as it used to ! ;)
avatar
What Minister Mallia did to the AFM regarding the promotions of Majors to Cols to Lt Cols in two weeks is shameful and despicable.