Labour Party accuses PN MP of abusing power for his own personal gain

Michael Falzon said Jason Azzopardi's behaviour during the last legislature highlights the hypocrisy and lack of standards on the part of some in the Nationalist Party

Ian Castadli Paris (left) and Michael Falzon (right)
Ian Castadli Paris (left) and Michael Falzon (right)

Labour Party candidate Ian Castaldi Paris has accused Nationalist Party MP and former Parliamentary Secretary Jason Azzopardi of using his position as Parliamentary Secretary responsible for lands to accelerate a process allowing him to become the owner of land on which his house was built.

Castaldi Paris was addressing a press conference together with Michael Falzon where explained that in 2010, Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi was looking to buy a property and had signed an agreement with the owners of a particular property he had set his sights on.

“It was the type of property, where the land had not yet been passed on to the government, preventing you from being the owner of your house” said Castaldi Paris.

When the agreement was made, said Castaldi Paris, a letter was sent to housing authority to approve that Jason azzopardi was now occupying the house.

“In cases like this, the value of the property is not the true value of the property because if I am not the owner of the land, I am, in reality not owner of my house,” he said, adding that people in this situation must wait for the government to pay the people from whom the land had been taken so that it can be passed on to the owner of the property.

He said that between setting sights on the property and the transfer of it's occupancy to Azzopardi, the latter had already “started preparing manoeuvres and preparing the necessary papers and documentation” for him to be preferred, and for the government to compensate the owners of the land so that he could become the owner of his home.

“Shortly after, coincidentally, out of all the territory in Malta where people are awaiting payment for land taken from them by the government, a presidential order was issued for the government of the day to pay the owners of the land,” he said. “This means that Jason Azzopardi accelerated the process for the land on which his house was situated to become his own.”

He emphasised that a process that would have normally taken a long time was accelerated in this case, and that this was particularly insulting to the many people in similar situations who were constantly told there was not enough money for them to be compensated for their land.  

Michael Falzon said that if nothing else, the story highlights the hypocrisy and lack of standards on the part of some in the Nationalist Party.

“We are seeing the direct political intervention of a politician, for him to gain personally,” said Falzon, adding that he expected Busuttil to take action against Azzopardi.

“This is not Jason Azzopardi’s first case, it’s not a one off,” added Falzon. “He has a trail of dubious political interventions.”

He said that it was enough to refer to the hundreds of encroachments issued before the last general election, the Lowenbrau land transfer, the “Fekruna case” which cost the country millions and a number of others.

“He still has the blessing of Simon Busuttil, maybe because he spews the same type of hatred as Busuttil,” said Falzon.