Jason Azzopardi is currently defending some clients who are wrongly accused of defrauding the government in a scheme that saw up to €25 million of social benefits given to undeserving recipients in exchange for their votes to the Labour Party. Although Jason Azzopardi’s clients seem to be genuine cases with serious and real ailments and injuries, anecdotally, as a previous Labour Party delegate I can confirm that it is true that up to €25 million have been defrauded by Labour Party government officials into vote-buying schemes, but the number on a longer-term basis is much higher.
Apart from giving out social benefits, the Labour government also provided many other favours in exchange for votes. Recently, as I have been covering Roderick Galdes’ story of corruption, at least five people have come forward to me telling me that the Minister of Housing and Roderick Galdes’ personnel promised them social accommodation after the election. This promise has been made to many people and those who were left empty-handed are taking it to Facebook to complain.
Vote buying in Malta carries at least a maximum sentence of six months in prison – a very low punishment for such a serious law, yet also widely unenforced.