The Chamber of Advocates this morning demanded No Deposit Cars immediately removes a large poster it has affixed to its showroom window depicting lawyer and former minister Jason Azzopardi in a rather mockingly saintly light.
Short of taking the poster down, the Chamber has threatened to take “all steps necessary” against the car dealership owned by Christian Borg, who is currently facing charges of kidnapping and under police investigation for drug dealing and money laundering rackets.
Azzopardi is currently representing clients in court cases against No Deposit Cars and, according to the Chamber, the poster was aimed at “ridiculing” the counter-party’s lawyer.
It condemned the move as an attempt “to influence the lawyer in the performance of his duties”.
Azzopardi has filed a judicial protest on the behalf of 26 of the dealership’s customers last week declaring their intention to sue to have their contracts with the company cancelled.
They are also asking for an investigation into the company for fraud and tax evasion.
The customers allege the company installed GPS trackers on their vehicles, gave them incorrect insurance paperwork and repossessed cars without informing them.
The Chamber of Advocates condemned “any attempt against members of the legal profession used as some form of intimidation against the lawyer or to hinder the performance of his duties”.
It also stressed how it is a lawyer’s duty to assist clients in the best way possible without being subjected to personal attacks.
In any adversarial legal process, the Chamber pointed out, it is obvious that the counter-party will not agree with what a lawyer says to make his client’s case.
“It is a matter of maturity that this does not lead to any intimidation or that the lawyer is publicly ridiculed for doing his job.
“The role of the lawyer is precisely that of participating in the complete process to achieve justice and the lawyer should not be confused with what his client has allegedly done, or be publicly criticised precisely and simply because he is doing his duty.”
No one should undermine this fundamental right, the Chamber underlined, stressing that “In order to ensure the rule of law, it is essential that every lawyer is allowed to perform their professional duties and roles in freedom and without hindrance, intimidation or threats”.
Opposition joins the chorus of condemnation
The opposition Nationalist Party this morning similarly condemned the poster mocking its former veteran MP, suggesting the company perhaps felt comfortable because Borg is known to be close to Prime Minister Robert Abela.
“Christian Borg’s company, No Deposit Cars Malta Ltd, a business partner of Robert Abela, has been attacking lawyer Jason Azzopardi in an irresponsible manner because he is the legal consultant for a number of individuals who claim to have suffered harm from the same company,” opposition justice shadow minister Karol Aquilina said in a statement.
The company’s behaviour, he said, was unacceptable in a democratic society and “confirms there is still a culture of impunity being enjoyed by a clique of people close to Robert Abela and Joseph Muscat”.
Any decent leader and PM would not just distance himself from such a person who is allegedly involved in crookery like that by No Deposit Cars, but also see to it that such business practices like in this case would be stopped and the shop closed down, both by by legal means.
Sadly, one cannot expect anything in such ways by he present PL regime as it was business as usual during the previous one of them as well.
At least the PN has shown some solidarity with Mr Azzopardi, as the chamber of advocates has done in the interest of the rule of law, which the PL and her chums are still happy to trampling on it.
The whole poster was a tasteless bad joke and surely, it is to backfire on this dubious company itself.
What further proof that the local criminals feel immunity from the law , is required?
The fact that the PM ,the AG and the CoP , did nothing proofs that they are serfs to these criminals.
but then the law in this country does not exist at all?
an intimidating act in the light of all, what a bad impression the judiciary is making with all its judges
Barrabas is in the house!
I just wonder if this company actually has any future with all the bad publicity it is managing to bring on itself. I mean, do people STILL go to this outfit for a motor?