Azzopardi insists people ‘will be shocked’ to learn why Muscat called early election

Jason Azzopardi in Parliament

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

People will be shocked when they discover the real reason behind former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s decision to call an early election in 2017, Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi insisted in parliament.

Speaking during debate on amendments to the Police Act reforming the way Police Commissioners are selected, Azzopardi, who is also the lawyer of Daphne Caruana Galizia’s family, focused on what has emerged as a result of the journalist’s assassination.

He said that “the day will come” when the public would learn about Muscat’s – as well as that of his erstwhile chief of staff Keith Schembri and former minister Konrad Mizzi’s – personal interest in Montenegro, where Enemalta is investing €90 million in a wind farm project. He said that it was no surprise that one of Muscat’s last official visits as Prime Minister was to the Balkan country.

But he said that people would be even more shocked when they found out why Muscat called for an early election in 2017.

“It is much worse than what you may think,” Azzopardi insisted, though he gave no details.

He noted that Melvin Theuma, who was granted a presidential pardon on Muscat’s recommendation to turn state’s evidence, had recounted that Muscat, referred to as “ix-xiħ,” had reason to worry about what Caruana Galizia was revealing.

Azzopardi also flagged Muscat’s continued use of a private email address for official work, and challenged Prime Minister Robert Abela to criminalise the practice if he was serious about turning a new leaf.

Minister accuses MP of abusing parliamentary privilege

Azzopardi’s remarks earned him a rebuke from Energy Minister Michael Farrugia, who insisted that the MP was abusing privilege by treating allegations as fact and mentioning people who could not defend themselves in parliament.

In an adjournment speech on Wednesday morning, he insisted that MPs should not prejudice cases that were still being investigated in such a manner.