Speaker says Jason Azzopardi must retract ‘minister lied’ comments made against Justice Minister Owen Bonnici
Speaker of the House Anglu Farrugia yesterday laid down that PN MP Jason Azzopardi must retract his statements, that Justice Minister Owen Bonnici lied in Parliament regarding the Henley and Partners Commissions.
Minister for Justice Owen Bonnici had asked the Speaker of the House to investigate what he claimed to be the breach of parliamentary privilege by Shadow Minister Jason Azzopardi.
On more than one occasion, the minister told the Speaker last week, Dr Azzopardi claimed that the minister lied in Parliament about the commissions handed to Henley and Partners in the citizenship scheme, after it was revealed that Henley and Partners - the concessionaries of Malta’s cash-for-passports scheme, earn four per cent commission on the sale of government bonds to those who purchase passports
Speaker Anglu Farrugia read out the request by Dr Bonnici. The minister also said last week that Opposition Leader Simon Busuttil had retweeted a number of tweets by Jason Azzopardi, which alleged that the minister was a liar, and as a result of MP Azzopardi’s tweet, it was repeated on programmes in the media.
PN MP Azzopardi also asked Speaker Anglu Farrugia to investigate whether, during the PAC meeting in 2015, the minister had lied.
The Speaker quoted from the Committee meetings that took place, as well as the Annual IIP report and other documents. He said that the minister had made clear that there were certain clauses in the contract that could not be published due to commercial sensitivity and competitivity. He also said that PAC Chairman Tonio Fenech had realised, when the minister was being asked about some of these clauses, that they would receive funds of more than the €650,000.
The Speaker ordered that Jason Azzopardi retract the statements at the first chance he has in Parliament when he returns from abroad.
Minister for Justice Owen Bonnici had asked the Speaker of the House to investigate what he claimed to be the breach of parliamentary privilege by Shadow Minister Jason Azzopardi