Drug trafficking suspect Jordan Azzopardi has denied Labour's ONE News story that claims he was the inmate interviewed by rival station NET News on the situation at the Corradino Correctional Facility.

Azzopardi told Times of Malta when contacted that he was not the prisoner interviewed by the Nationalist party's NET News and condemned what he described as a “nonsensical” attack on him.

“I’ve never spoken to journalists in my life," Azzopardi said. "You’re the first. I never spoke to anyone about prison or any other subject. I was about to eat but I lost all my appetite with anger after the way I was targeted."

The PN in a statement criticised Labour for resorting to a "lie" in a bid to defend home affairs minister Byron Camilleri and prison director Alex Dalli. 

"NET News catergorically denies the story published by ONE News," the PN said. 

The party said it had filed a complained with the Institute of Maltese Journalists over the story.

Attempts to contact ONE's head of news Edward Montebello proved unsuccessful. 

Life inside

The prisoner who spoke to NET News on Thursday with his face blurred to conceal his identity for fear of repercussions claimed that the CCF was trying to instil a mentality of fear and terror.

He described an atmosphere that was leading a large number of prisoners to the brink of despair, so much so that some are trying to end their lives with their own hands.

This former prisoner told NET that if you get into trouble with CCF director Alexander Dalli “you're done".

He highlighted a case involving a foreign prisoner who was awaiting extradition, claiming that Dalli warned him that instead of being sent home, he would die in prison. 

A day later, ONE News published their story, claiming they had unmasked the anonymous prisoner. 

Descrediting inmates

Similiar attempts have been made to discredit innmates speaking out about conditions in prison. 

Earlier this month, the Labour-leaning General Workers Union released an audio clip of former inmate Anthony Borg swearing and shouting inside prison. 

The clip was aired shortly after Borg gave a criticial interview to Times of Malta about conditions within the prison walls. 

Azzopardi, 31, has only been out of jail for ten days after having been granted bail following more than two years in police custody.

He denies a litany of charges, ranging from multiple counts of drug trafficking to criminal conspiracy, money laundering, circulation of counterfeit cash, possession of an unlicensed weapon, threatening and injuring a third party and breaching bail conditions, among others. Lawyers Franco Debono and Joe Giglio are defence counsel. 

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