Jordan Azzopardi girlfriend charged with subornation

Police file fresh charge against Jordan Azzopardi’s girlfriend after she allegedly tried to bribe a witness

The case against Jordan Azzopardi and his girlfriend continued in court amid tight security
The case against Jordan Azzopardi and his girlfriend continued in court amid tight security

The mother of five who is charged alongside drug trafficking suspect Jordan Azzopardi is facing new charges after allegedly attempting to suborn a potential witness.

The compilation of evidence against the alleged drug trafficker and his partner continued on Tuesday morning with prosecuting police Inspector Mark Anthony Mercieca telling the court that after the events during the previous sitting, which resulted in the woman’s re-arrest, investigations led to the fresh charge of subornation of a witness being brought against her. She pleaded not guilty this morning.

The woman's name cannot be published on court order.

The woman and Azzopardi had exchanged two calls while in custody, the first on 6 June when the two had named a person who was to be approached. The following day, the woman had informed her partner that the person in question had been approached.

The police had arrested a third party who was to approach Luke Vella, a former customer of the drug dealer, who was due to testify in the compilation.

Azzopardi’s partner had written down the questions to be put to Vella on a scrap of paper. The questions were read out in court from the witness stand by Inspector Mercieca today.

‘Do you have WhatsApp so I may contact you since it’s safer that way?’ wrote the woman. ‘What did you spend at Pieta’?’ with reference to the Pieta’ property raided by the police before Azzopardi’s arrest, and ‘If he gives you €10,000 will you not testify?’

The three questions had allegedly been scribbled on a paper by Jordan’s partner with the intention of them being forwarded by a third party to Luke Vella. Vella had testified in the compilation of evidence against the pair on 13 June.

“I'm speaking out because I've had enough. They've been threatening me even up until last week,” the man had said under oath.

The revelation had landed the woman back in custody and subject to new police investigations, despite her protestation that she had been receiving threatening phone calls, too.

Air BnB plan went awry when Azzopardi got involved

This morning, the court heard more evidence regarding the alleged drug dealing operation from a young man who had been arrested during a police raid at a Marsa farmhouse and who is currently serving a prison sentence.

He explained how he had planned to convert a Pieta’ property, formerly belonging to his grandmother, into an Air BnB listing.

His partner on the project was Luke Vella. But the men’s plans had been thrown into disarray when Jordan Azzopardi entered the picture and they were all arrested.

At the start of his testimony, the man insisted that he “was at the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Lee Jonathan Borg said he had been approached by Azzopardi just a week before his arrest, with Azzopardi wanting to rent the Pieta’ residence for a person who he said was “homeless”. 

The two agreed on a monthly rent of €700, Borg said, adding that he had asked his aunt to collect the payments from Azzopardi.

Borg insisted that he had no idea of what went on inside the place.

Borg’s aunt also took the witness stand today.

Borg had phoned her from prison and told her to meet someone to collect rent, she said. “I met him in Gzira square about three times. Sometimes he would come with a girl.”

She pointed out Azzopardi but not his girlfriend. “It was dark,” she explained. The payments she collected were “€150, €100, one time €40,” she said.

After she had heard about the raid at the Pieta’ building on the news, she said the requests had stopped.

The compilation of evidence continues next month.

Inspectors Mark Anthony Mercieca and Justine Grech prosecuted.

Lawyer Anne Marie Cutajar appeared on behalf of the Office of the Attorney General.

Lawyers Franco Debono and Amadeus Cachia were counsel to both accused.

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