Lawyer hits out at PN, says party de­nied him fair hear­ing

Malta Independent - - FRONT PAGE - Ju­lian Bon­nici

A lawyer who has been pro­hib­ited from vot­ing in the Na­tion­al­ist Party lead­er­ship elec­tion on or­ders from the party sec­re­tary gen­eral af­ter he ad­mit­ted to hav­ing been a freema­son has hit out at the PN, say­ing he was de­nied the chance to ex­plain his po­si­tion.

In a let­ter sent yes­ter­day to the PN’s elec­toral com­mis­sion, Arthur Az­zopardi lam­basted care­taker PN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Rosette Thake, along with the party struc­ture and the elec­toral com­mis­sion it­self, for deny­ing him the right to fair hear­ing.

Az­zopardi was barred from vot­ing in the PN lead­er­ship elec­tion on or­ders from Thake.

Az­zopardi said that he would be hold­ing “all the mem­bers of the Elec­toral Com­mis­sion, along with the Na­tion­al­ist Party, per­son­ally re­spon­si­ble for any dam­ages that I may suf­fer,” in a let­ter ad­dressed to Joe Borg, the head of the com­mis­sion.

He went on to say that he dis­cov­ered that he was no longer el­i­gi­ble to vote through the me­dia, since the party it­self did not in­form about the de­ci­sion.

Az­zopardi said he was puz­zled by the de­ci­sion, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing that he had been asked by the “high­est of­fi­cials in the party” to run in the gen­eral elec­tion which took place last June.

The PN de­ci­sion was based on an ar­ti­cle pub­lished in Lovin’ Malta, were Az­zopardi says he was hon­est re­gard­ing his past in­volve­ment with a Mal­tese Freema­sonry lodge.

He fur­ther ex­plained that in the ar­ti­cle he clar­i­fied that he was dis­missed from the lodge for push­ing for an amend­ment on the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s stature on se­crecy and the in­clu­sion of women as mem­bers.

He also in­sisted that he had stopped at­tend­ing in 2011.

Thake, Az­zopardi said, was “abus­ing her po­si­tion as Sec­re­tary Gen­eral” be­cause “if the PN gen­uinely be­lieved in the moral obli­ga­tion and prin­ci­ples of nat­u­ral jus­tice and rule of law” it would re­spect his right to a fair hear­ing and take a de­ci­sion af­ter con­sult­ing him for his ver­sion of events and clar­i­fy­ing the party’s po­si­tion.

Az­zopardi said that in the cir­cum­stances, the Sec­re­tary Gen­eral is guilty of break­ing a num­ber of prin­ci­ples of nat­u­ral jus­tice, and has vi­o­lated his rights that are en­shrined in the Mal­tese Con­sti­tu­tion.

“I am ask­ing the elec­toral com­mis­sion to not take my vote away from me for the up­com­ing elec­tion un­less the nat­u­ral process of hear­ing my ver­sion of events takes place.”

Az­zopardi went on to ta­ble a num­ber of ques­tions to­wards the Na­tion­al­ist Party:

- How is my mem­ber­ship with the party of na­tional in­ter­est?

- Where in the statute does it state that the Sec­re­tary Gen­eral has the power to make her de­ci­sions pub­lic?

- Why is the party treat­ing me dif­fer­ently from other mem­bers who were dis­ci­plined in the past?

- Why is the party dis­crim­i­nat­ing me? - Why is the party act­ing this way to­wards me when a few months ago the high­est of­fi­cials asked me to con­test the gen­eral elec­tion? - Has the party for­got­ten that in the last gen­eral elec­tion, I was asked to give my views in favour of the party it­self, the way Si­mon Busut­til op­er­ated, and against the Labour Party, when it came at a per­sonal sac­ri­fice? - The Sec­re­tary Gen­eral acted in an ar­bi­trary man­ner and or­dered the party to act dif­fer­ently in my re­gard when the party acted dif­fer­ently with oth­ers who had sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tions. Why am I dif­fer­ent from the other per­sons? Az­zopardi also re­minded the party that he was not and is not a can­di­date for party lead­er­ship, a coun­cil­lor, or a party of­fi­cial, nor did he have any as­pi­ra­tion to have a role in the party.

Az­zopardi is rep­re­sent­ing PN lead­er­ship can­di­date Adrian Delia in five li­bel cases he in­sti­tuted against Daphne Caru­ana Gal­izia over claims she made on her blog.

Rosette Thake

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta

© PressReader. All rights reserved.