Adrian Delia should not have been at the Courts of Justice yesterday

Published: September 19, 2017 at 10:46am

The presence of the Nationalist Party’s newly elected leader at the Courts of Justice yesterday turned the matter into a farce and a circus act, and for this reason it should have been prevented.

People out there may not know this, because it was not made sufficiently clear by the media and it was obscured deliberately by the Nationalist Party’s broadcast media: when a case is heard behind closed doors, the only people allowed into the courtroom are the parties themselves and their legal counsel.

Delia was therefore not allowed in, because he is neither a party to the case not legal counsel to any of the parties involved. He was ‘smuggled in’ under the pretence that he is assisting Jason Azzopardi, the Opposition MP who is legal counsel to Simon Busuttil, a party to the case.

This is absolutely ridiculous and offensive, and neither Dr Busuttil nor Dr Azzopardi should have consented to it. It is wrong to collude in a lie of that nature simply to accommodate the public-relations bulldozing attitude of somebody who is a natural-born liar and thinks nothing of it.

People won’t say “How clever they are. They outwitted the judge and those people on the Labour side.” They will say how spineless they are to allow Delia to bully his way through, and that anybody who is prepared to collude in one lie to the Courts of Justice will collude in others.

Delia is not legal counsel on the case. He wanted to be there to assert himself as Nationalist Party leader, but the Courts of Justice do not care whether he is party leader or not. The only thing that matters is whether he is a party to the case or not, or legal counsel to a party to the case.

The proper thing for him to do in that situation would have been to stay away from the Courts of Justice and explain to people and the media why he had to stay away: not because he isn’t backing Busuttil’s case, but because the hearing was behind closed doors and he is not a party to the suit or legal counsel.

People would have accepted that, but instead he wanted to make a big show and unfortunately Simon Busuttil and Jason Azzopardi let him barge his way in on the back of a lie.

It weakened their case and their status in it. And of course, having him there was not helpful in other ways, because it allowed that piece of work, Konrad Mizzi, to say to reporters on his way out of the building that he doesn’t mind if the case is heard in open court – as Judge Mizzi ruled it should be – because it does not involve money-laundering for a prostitution racket. And this when he and his colleagues are the ones who asked for it to be heard behind closed doors.

The new leader of the Nationalist Party started out with yet another lie: saying that he is legal counsel to Simon Busuttil so that he would be allowed into court in a case heard behind closed doors.