Algerian visa scandal whistleblower had citizenship revoked – Jason Azzopardi

The Maltese-Algerian whistleblower who exposed the alleged visa racket at the Algeria Consulate has had his citizenship revoked by Identity Malta, PN MP Jason Azzopardi said in Parliament.

Speaking in parliament on Tuesday, Azzopardi revealed that the Government had committed “the ultimate secular crime that a state may commit”.

The outspoken MP explained how there had never been a case of the revocation of citizenship from anyone, except in cases of marriages for convenience.

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The scandal came to light in November 2015, after the Opposition asked the Auditor General to investigate the processing of visas coming from Algeria.

Azzopardi went on to say that the police, including then Assistant Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar, and Prime Minister Joseph Muscat had been informed of the happenings of the consulate in Algeria.

Robert Falzon, the Prime Minister’s first cousin once removed (his father’s cousin), was made Malta’s consul-general in Algeria, he said.

The whistleblower had been a citizen since 1995, and in spite of never having issues with regards to citizenship after annulling his marriage, Azzopardi said that he received a letter at home from Identity Malta on the 8th of March, telling him that he is no longer a Maltese citizen after 17 years enjoying that privilege.

“Last week the government committed the worst crime a secular state could do – taking back the citizenship from someone who received that citizenship without a marriage of convenience.”

The Nationalist MP insisted that through the aided and abetted corruption, instigated from the highest corridors of the country, visas were given out which gave access not only to Malta, but to the whole Schengen area.

He critisized the Government’s treatment of whistleblowers, particularly after the way he said they boasted of the protections for whistleblowers in Malta, bringing up the case of Janathan Ferris.

He called this act with regards to the whistleblower in this case “obscene, disgusting and without precedent”, especially, he added, because his allegations were confirmed and his whistleblower status was still revoked.

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