PN warns it will withdraw golden passports, refuses to publish legal advice on revocation

Opposition files judicial protest against government and Henley and Partners, the concessionaires of the cash-for-citizenship scheme to forewarn applicants of possible revocation.

Chris Said (left) with shadow home affairs minister Jason Azzopardi (centre)
Chris Said (left) with shadow home affairs minister Jason Azzopardi (centre)

The Nationalist Party has filed a judicial protest against Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, home affairs minister Manuel Mallia and the directors of Henley & Partners, the concessionaires of the cash-for-citizenship scheme.

PN secretary-general Chris Said said the opposition had resorted to a judicial protest to forewarn applicants that in five years' time, if the PN is in government, the scheme will be cancelled and all passports issued under the scheme will be revoked.

Asked whether the PN would publish the legal advice it had been given, Said cited various sources but refused to give a straight answer, opting instead to reiterate that government and Henley's actions were "illegal".

"There are various legal opinions on the matter. Some have been published in the press and some others not, and today we have filed a judicial protest to make things very clear to all applicants from the very beginning."

He added that in the past, passports had been revoked in cases of marriages of convenience.

Asked whether it was legal to revoke passports and render persons stateless, Said said: "Persons who are bound to apply are not stateless but they are already citizens of another country and if they are given a Maltese passport, they will have dual citizenship."

In some cases, IIP applicants will have to renounced their original citizenship if the country they hail from does not recognise dual citizenships.

Said stressed that the PN considered any passport issued under the scheme as one of "convenience" adding that if the Maltese citizenship is revoked by a future PN administration, these persons would still hold another passport.

He added that the possible European Commission infringement process and the European Parliament's damning resolution were enough to justify the revocation of citizenships.

Citing EU Commissioner Viviane Reding's verdict that the scheme was in breach of EU treaties and international law, Said did not exclude taking further legal action if the government ploughs ahead with the "dirty scheme".

Pressed over the legal validity of the opposition's stand, Said said: "this law has been introduced through a simple majority and in the same manner it can be removed through a simple majority."

"Henley's contract is selling something which should not be sold, as has been confirmed by the European Commission who made it clear that there is no genuine link between applicants and Malta. This makes the sale of passports illegal meaning that Henley's contract is null."

Opposition MP Jason Azzopardi explained that the judicial protest, which empowers injured parties to hold somebody responsible for their actions, was based on five principle points.

"Firstly, the opposition is making it clear that during the Parliamentary debate on the law we always voted against at all stages and we will never recognise the legitimacy of the scheme," Azzopardi said, adding that government and Henley were being formally asked to notify all applicants of the opposition's stand.

"We are also warning applicants that the opposition will cancel the scheme and revoke all passports issued once we are in government," the PN home affairs spokespersons said, stressing that the PN viewed any passport issued as "temporary".

Moreover, the judicial protest also explains that a future PN administration will not recognise any guarantee, indemnity, assurance or other promises made by the government or Henley to applicants and persons granted Maltese citizenship.

"We are also formally warning applicants that they will not be eligible to any compensation or refund," Azzopardi said, adding that the opposition is making it clear that Henley's contract is illegal and was asking for government to make this contract public.

Warning that Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, home affairs minister Manuel Mallia and Henley directors were personally responsible from forewarning applicants about any future changes to the scheme, Azzopardi said that the opposition filed the protest in line with the legal principle which informing individuals of what they are about to purchase.

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My lawyer friends, speech is silver and your silence would have been golden, unfortunately your silver is tarnished.
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By the time they are elected 10-15 years, enough years would have passed and inability to confirm non-residence will lead to failure of their case. Do not waste your energy, get on with your reforms. Take my advise as a lawyer.
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Fejn hu toni ta l-arloggi ?
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So that should be in 20yrs time Dr Azzopardi . That's how long you will be in opposition at this rate ....Buffu !!
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sewwa qal "malta l-ewwel" qisu ghadhom kemm hargu minn funeral.....
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sewwa qal "malta l-ewwel" qisu ghadhom kemm hargu minn funeral.....
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There's a sea of grey in that picture (it was more evident on TV), supposedly indicating restraint, decorum and sober presentation (oh, so Casin Malti aspirational). Well, that does not translate into the colour of the innards within that casing beneath their hairpieces. Simon Busuttil's led PN has turned out to be anything but! Aspirational and clever? Yeah, right! It is so blatantly obvious, even to die-hard, deep blue, deeply conservative, mountain folk (i.e. ta' wara il-mutanji), that these vultures have only their political future's interest at heart. Fu*k the nation's interests and economic growth, which will invariably blossom under the PL's IIP scheme and other initiatives. They surely must have secured their pension fund during the past 25 years. Do not ask me to specify just how they obtained their pensioner-in-Bahamas-means. We are not all deaf and blind. Xmun, with your dastardly "leadership" tactics, you are writing your and your party's obituary!
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Xi dwejjaq ghandom
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nurikatz why don`t you tell your Gonzi-Simon-PN to show the legal notice that made your leader talk crap
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il hasra hi li bit tkaxira li se jerga jlaqqat il Pn fl elezzjonijiet ta MEP,Busullotti aktarx li jgeghluh jirrezenja ....hasra ghax bih hemm l-elezzjoni ta 2018 hija biss formalita.
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An unbelievable action by the PN without a solid legal basis which only a local bunch of PN dutturi can advance and at same time to avoid being debunked keep in pectore. They are exposing themselves to being seen as threatening one of the most basic of human rights with no legal feet to stand on and against the learned opinion of some of our best legal brains. Also by serving this judicial protest against a well known international agency they are obstructing them in their right to operate a fair trade and business opening the PN up to being sued for millions of dollars of damages. I trust the gov will support this company in teaching the PN a financial lesson in addition to the political one.
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first they put our country into debt which we can never repay and we were being penalised by the european union now that we found a solution to start paying off part of our debt they are complaining and creating a panic state to dissuade any investors to come to Malta. This course of action is absolutely out of context since they should be thinking how to attract investment to Malta and not cast a bad reputation to Malta.
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This must be one of the greatest mistakes made by Dr Busuttil, I have never heard this being done anywhere. He is deceiving and misleading the faithful.
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kemm irqaqu f 10xhur kif waqatielom iz zejza min halqom ja tradituri
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Il PN kien , ghadu , u jbqa is sahta ta Malta
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Kien ikun ferm ahjar li kieku dawk il-qatta figuri miseri, jippozaw quddeim il-qorti, qalulna kif il-PM Gonzi ma hax passi kontra Larry Fenech u Ian Falzon meta dan kin jaf ben tajjeb sa mill-2011 bil-frodi li kienu qedin jaghmlu fil-kapacitajiet taghhom fil-MATS. Ahjar kieku irrevokaw il-karti tal-kreidtu li kellhom. Nispera li dan il-gvern prezenti jirkupra id-danni li sofra l-istat minhabba dawn iz-zewgt galantomi!
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Busuttil is talking crap. He knows better that he cannot revoke any citizenship. He is misleading many blinkered Nationalists.
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We shouldn't make the mistake of referring to the party in government as Malta. The two structures are distinct. Malta is made up of the party in government and the party in opposition. That is if we continue to think of Malta as a democratic country. So if the opposition is being frank with the way they would be treating the holders of passports purchased under this scheme, they are being forthright and downright honest; unlike Labour that never mentioned this scheme in their manifesto. Obviously, the thing doesn't reflect well on Malta, but this is a sacrifice we all have to endure because of the hard-headedness of JM who is still insisting to go along with the scheme against all odds.
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I have a gut felling that simon has till after the MEP elections ,for he will resign after a heavy defeat .
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Where is Alice in Wonderland?
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All of you do not seem to understand that Malta will not make much money on this scheme. Henley gets to hold on to ALL the money for up to two years, collect interest on it and do with it whatever it wants. After the time that Henley gets to have the money, whatever is left is transferred to the Maltese government to a fund, that nobody reading this paper knows about or knows what is going to be done with the money. There has not been any talk of the government fund being audited, so the readers may never know what happens to the money. So aside from all the other issues of a a lack of due diligence( Henley does the due diligence, and only gets paid if it passes a buyer of citizenship. What do you all think Henley will do, pass a buyer and earn hundreds of thousands of Euros, or refuse that person and earn zilch?) But aside from that and all the other moral issues of selling European citizenship, the fact is that no one knows or is being told where the money will go and what part of it will actually come to Malta and not be paid out to Henley. Come on, read your own laws, and figure this out. This law is a fiasco for you all. Selling passports and not even getting paid for it! Now that is what I call a good deal. This is not an issue of political parties, this is an issue of simple logic.
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Before presenting this judicial protest,Jason Azzopardi should have consulted Sion Busuttil and asked him what he had said in the European Parliament on 8 June 2011 about matters which are the competence of national governments !!!!
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Jason Azzopardi, on behalf of the PN opposition , is asking the government and Henley & Partners to become accomplices in an ILLEGAL ACT since no government can withdraw citizenship and passport acquired legally. Once the Maltese government has passed the amendments to the citizenship law , not future government can withdraw citizenship. Besides, citizenship is a NATIONAL COMPETENCE, so what the government has done is within its own competence !!!
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@ milomalta. Ma tanx ghandhom cans jirevokaw dak li jahgmel il gvern tal PL. B'dan atteggament dritt ghal gol hajt u mhux se jaraw is siggu go Kastilja ghaz zmien zmien twil. Ahjar jirrangaw ftit ruhom u ma joqodux jopponu ghal kull haga ta xejn. Nithassarkhom tal PN.
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What a bunch of bloody amateurs! Look at the picture above. A bunch of grownups who used to snitch on their siblings to get sweets or stars. Such a pitiful bunch.
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It's a shame. The PN is now scraping the lowest of the bottoms. Resorting to the same antics, hence it's obvious that the party has not changed face. The damage caused is irreversible. How can they perpetrate such damage to our economy !!! It is simply unbelievable. The people out there are no fools. Gone are those days and just realise it.
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Now everybody knows where PN stand on this. They made their point clear enough. They need to let the massively elected government to do his job without interfering. Because people assigned them to the opposition benches for a reason - they did not want them to govern! Hence they should realise not to cross the mark and still think that they are in government. Pushing this issue any further is arrogant, goes beyond the competence of an oppostion, and will eventually damage PN's image - as a super negative, spoilt kid!
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Huwa ovvju li l-PN iridhu 'it-trouble' fil-pajjiz biex forsi il-Labour jerga jaghmel zball u jirrejagixxi: imma din id-darba ma mhux se inpaxxijomhom! Din demokrazzija li suppost taghallem fil-Parlament Ewropew: jekk nirbah nigverna jekk nigverna xorta?
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Dawn huma nies tal Vendetta!!!! Ma jistawx jaccettaw il fatt li dawn ma ghadhomx fil Gvern ghax il Poplu warrabhom bil kbir!! u li issa jinsabu fuq il bankijiet tal oppozizzjoni ta l'inqas ghal 5 snin shah!! Ghalxejn kienu gabu lil Xmun min Brussel ghax minflok rega rebbahom il Gvern dahhalhom "Gas down go hajt" u hekk qed ikompli jaghmel issa li sar il Kapo il gdid tahhom. Komplu sejrin hekk halli il poplu ihallikom tibqaw IMKAHLIN fejn qedin f'oppozizzjoni ghal aktar snin!!!!!! Grazzi Xmun tac-cucati u hmerijiet tieghek!!Nawguralek tkompli sejjer hekk!!
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So that is what Maltese legislation has come to, that what a Government legislates will be overturned and undone by another Government that will Govern Malta. The PN or rather the LE Party have sold off the family silver during their legislation (Mid-Med, sea Malta, MIA and God knows how many other Companies) with the current Government honoring the last Government commitments. what kind of message are we sending to any future investor, that you are only guaranteed your investment for 5 years if that. And what about the PN (LE) reputation of being the champions of Democracy? because it is obvious that they are doing all that is possible for this Government to fail, even if it is against the absolute majority wishes. If the IIP scheme ridiculed Malta and the Maltese through the PN (LE) intrinsic connections overseas and in Europe, now they have come to a stage of showing the world that Maltese Parliament has become a circus and our representatives clowns. I do work oversea with investors and all this have put me to shame in just hinting that I am Maltese let alone trying to encourage investors to invest in Malta. Is this the crème de la crème that the University of Malta produced to run our Country? If this is Cooperation with the Government that the opposition offered, I hate to see what further capability they have in destroying Malta and Maltese reputation abroad.
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So that is what Maltese legislation has come to, that what a Government legislates will be overturned and undone by another Government that will Govern Malta. The PN or rather the LE Party have sold off the family silver during their legislation (Mid-Med, sea Malta, MIA and God knows how many other Companies) with the current Government honoring the last Government commitments. what kind of message are we sending to any future investor, that you are only guaranteed your investment for 5 years if that. And what about the PN (LE) reputation of being the champions of Democracy? because it is obvious that they are doing all that is possible for this Government to fail, even if it is against the absolute majority wishes. If the IIP scheme ridiculed Malta and the Maltese through the PN (LE) intrinsic connections overseas and in Europe, now they have come to a stage of showing the world that Maltese Parliament has become a circus and our representatives clowns. I do work oversea with investors and all this have put me to shame in just hinting that I am Maltese let alone trying to encourage investors to invest in Malta. Is this the crème de la crème that the University of Malta produced to run our Country? If this is Cooperation with the Government that the opposition offered, I hate to see what further capability they have in destroying Malta and Maltese reputation abroad.
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Adrian Busuttil
It would appear to the lay man that the opposition is in a permanent state of sour grapes. They never have a single positive thing to say, so they might as well be run by Victor Meldrew.
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il PN illum ghamel wiehed mil Akbar zballji fl istorja tieghu..... iz zmien jaghgtina parir.....
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Wasalna fi stat li ghandna Partit ta l-Oppozizzjoni li ma jridx jammetti li f’Marzu tas sena l-ohra ha tkaxkira ghal alla li halqu. Nibdew bil-leader, dan beda biex innega li b’din li-skema Malta se ddahhal €biljun jew elf miljun. Wara jidher li kien hemm xi tifel ta l-iskola u urieh li jmekk timmulyiplika 1,800 bi 650,000 igibu iktar minn biljun. Issa li sab ruhu li kien zbaljat qieghed jistaqsi x’se jigri meta jispiccaw dawn il-Biljun ghax dawn se jigu darba. Mistoqsija banali li ma tistenniex minn persuna b’intelligenza niormali ahseb u ara minn persuna li suppost jipretendi li ghandu jmexxi lill Malta. Bhal dak li qallu li dawn il-flus se jissarfu f’karti tal €10 u npogguhom xi mkien u nhallu lir-rih ittajarhom fejn hadd ma jista jsibhom. Dr Busuttil kun serju jekk taf. Il-gvern diga qal x’se jaghmel bihom, tahseb li allura mhux se jkun hemm effetti posittivi bl-investimenti li se jsiru? U jekk ikun hemm effetti posittivi dawn se jkunu nhlew? Dr Busuttil ma tahsibx li kull ma ghamilt sa issa barra li ippruvajt thammeg isem Malta sarlek kollu suf. Ma hinix se nsemmi li stmerrija li dan l-agir gab fuqhekk u shabek kemm hawn Malta u kemm fl-Ewropa minn minhu serju. Minn minn dawn l-Ewropej kien lest biex bhalek ihammeg isem pajjizu. Qieghed tipprova tuza l-vot fil-Parlament Ewropew bhala prova li ghandhekk ragun. Taf li l-Eurostat tal-lum l-anqas biss semmietu il-vot ara xi-importanza tawh. Dan biex ma nsemmix stazzjonijiet televisivi ta imporatanza bhal BBC li dak in-nhar tal-vot gabet f’rokna li kien hemm vot li ghodda wara li saru emmendi ghalproposta originali. B’minn tahseb lio trid tidhak Dr Busuttil? Issa hrigt bil-famuza ‘legal advice’ u matridux turu id-dokumenti li ghandkhom biex jissaportjawh. Ir—raguni hi semplici, ma ghandkhom xejn hlief bziezaq tas-sapun. Il bravu Jason qal li hemm il-vot taghkom fil Parlament. Mela fuq l-istess bazi nitlob publikament lill Parliament biex tittressaq mozjoni bioex tirrevoka il ftehim oxxen li ghamel hu stess fejn bidel bictejn arrt li jiswew il-fuq minn €6miljun ma bicca art li ma tiswa ghal xejn u nitlob lill Parlament biex jindaga b’liema dritt ghamel dan u jigi mgieghel ihallas ta ghemilu. Wiehed ma jridx jinsa li dan ghamlu minghajr il-barka tal Ministri responsabbli. L-Ahhar kelma., Dr Busuttil jekk joghgok ieqaf gghax veru ippruvajt taghmel hsara lill Malta imma bl-agir tieghek li ma tridx taccetta it-telfa qieghed tirredikola lilhekk in-nifsek u lill Partit li suppost qieghed tmexxi. Staqsi lill ta WARA L-KWINTI u ara x’jghidulhekk jekk mhux qedin jaghmlulhekk hekk ghal ta l-apposta biex innehhuk
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Justice is the virtue that perfects the will. It is defined as the constant and perpetual will to render each person his due. But is it wise to return the knife to its rightful owner when this owner can harm himself and people around him as he is no longer in his full senses?. It is dangerous as much as it is dangerous to trust the Nationalists any further.
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Pity, marru home jittantaw isibu refugju. Nisperaw li l-kaz ma jigix quddiem xi bezziegh/a li jitwerwru minn xi blogger, ghax il-poplu hekk qed jinnota fl-ghoti ta' xi sentenzi. Izda llum il-PN ikkonferma tkaxkira ohra jekk mhux akbar minn tad-9 ta'Marzu 2013 ghall-elezzjoni li jmiss. Min jaf in-nazzjonalisti genwini x'jinkwietaw, u dawk li hallewna x'jitqallbu go qabarhom
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What a shameful opposition we have !In my opinion they are losing more voters than they did on election day ,what a shameful and pitiful down grading non ethical approach have they taken.No way will i consider siding with this type of Pn opposition.
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Ian George Walker
What is the difference between a warning and a threat? As I see it, when one tries to influence matters by saying he/she will take legal, permissible steps that is a warning. However, when someone tries to influence matters by promising to do something illegal or illicit, that is not a warning, that is a threat. Now it is clear to anyone with the slightest grasp of legality and human rights that citizenship, once legally conferred, cannot be withdrawn, unless it is by order of a legally constituted court and for proven misdemeanours. Therefore, when the PN says it will withdraw passports, it not issuing warnings, but bullying threats – threats meant to intimidate prospective investors and sabotage a scheme which they are afraid will further reduce their already vanishingly slim chances of re-election.
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PN el desparado .. can't accept others' success stories... at the expense of proactively harming our country's reputation... Give a little child a hammer and you'll discover everything needs pounding. Simon can't handle defeats.
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Jekk qatt kien hemm prova li l-PN qed jaghmel minn kollox biex ifixkel dan l-investment lejn Pajjizna, huwa propju l-protest gudizzjarju tal-PN. Politikalment dan il-pass min-naha tal-PN huwa zball kbir li meta tasal l-elezzjoni se jhallas ghalih aqares.
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Now the Opposition, as a last resort, has turned to the use of threats. It is trying to stop people from applying for Citizenship under this scheme by threatening the withdrawal of their citizenship... and basing these threats on a legal advice which for an unknown reason they are not ready to publish.
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Sorry to say,PN with this leader is slowly becoming a hated institution.
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Let's for the sake of argument agree with what PN is saying - that the contract with Henley and Partners is null. Basic business law states that if a contract is judged as null by a court of justice, than both parties should return to the position previously enjoyed before the contract was made. Hence Malta will have to refund the money to the passport holders!!
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The PN has just signed its own perpetual place in Opposition. Whether you like it or not the IIP is going to be implimented and you shall forever be condemned to the Opposition benches for undermining Malta and trying to deny the people €1 BILLION €uros after you have bankrupted the country and led it and us into more than €6.3 BILLION DEBT. This is when you found a country with many industries and more than €1.2 BILLION reserves which you have destroyed and squandered during your terms of office. Apart from this you also found some 24 TONS OF GOLD BULLION RESERVES which you have got rid of and of which less than 100 kilos remain, an amount which even the smallest gold seller have in their possession. What happened to all this Gold? Can the Government please investigate and bring the culprits to justice? Can Malta Today please take this up and investigate? Ask those who were in Parliament in the 1980's and later and are still MPs and those who are still with us even though no longer MPs and who know what they left in Malta's coffer.
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If the PN is in government ? No worries then. If it has solid legal advice....then the P.N. should have no problem in publishing it.The reality is that they don't. They are only enjoying being destructive.
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Kelma wahda 'PURCINELLI'. Issa ikkonfermat li hawn Malta ghawn circlu permanenti.