Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi hit by €800,000 garnishee

Court amends €800,000 garnishee order against Jason Azzopardi to release law firm’s client accounts

The Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi has been hit by a request for an €800,000 garnishee order by his wife, in ongoing marital separation procedures.

Documents filed in court revealed that Azzopardi’s partner in the legal firm Azzopardi & Busietta Advocates has requested the presiding judge to release three business accounts belonging to the firm.

Marica Azzopardi Balzan filed the request, which was provisionally upheld by the law courts, as part of her claim on the couple’s community of acquests in the ongoing marital separation proceedings.

The courts yesterday upheld a request to remove the garnishee from Azzopardi’s law firm’s client accounts.

Busietta requested the court to consider that the seizure would harm his legal practice, creating a serious prejudice to his family being the sold breadwinner. “One requires the least of imagination on the difficulty this can cause to the breadwinner of a family of two children,” Busietta said in his request.

Busietta also said the freezing of his client’s accounts was preventing him from paying his firm’s creditors, communications bills, employees’ salaries, as well as having frozen clients’ monies which could render him liable to charges of misappropriation.

Busietta said he was not contending Azzopardi Balzan’s pretentions, but said the blanket procedure had negatively affected his own business interests.

Azzopardi Balzan made the news in 2017 when she went public about her husband’s alleged affair, by claiming on Facebook that Jason Azzopardi had been cheating on her with his “lover”.

Azzopardi Balzan, who was married to the MP for 18 years, had publicly expressed gratitude with those who let her know that Azzopardi had spent a weekend in London, allegedly with another woman.

Azzopardi has denied cheating on his wife, with whom he is undergoing separation proceedings.

Allegedly, Azzopardi Balzan learnt of the affair after a final boarding call for passengers at the airport showed that Azzopardi and a woman had a flight to catch to London. “Thank you for telling me the truth about my cheating husband,” Marica Azzopardi Balzan wrote. “Thanks for telling me that you saw my husband at the airport and that the PA was announcing last call for Jason Azzopardi and [name withheld].”

The MP had denied the claims: “I have always said and believed personal issues should remain personal… But I can tell you that all that was written in that post is not true.”

Azzopardi, a Nationalist MP since 1998, was among a batch of MPs who in 2011 voted against Malta’s divorce bill despite the electorate’s “Yes” in a referendum.

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