Given the awesome level of prevarication and obfuscation to which Premier Joseph's minions, now including yet another legal luminary in the shape of Robert Abela (has Deborah Schembri decided to withdraw gracefully?) have sunk, I thought it might be useful to apply the KISS Principle to the story.
For the uninitiated, the KISS Principle does not mean that I will be exhorting Jason Azzopardi and Owen Bonnici to kiss and make up. I wouldn't try to impose smooching Smug Owen on my worst enemy, let alone someone I consider a friend.
It means "Keep It Simple Stupid".
Here goes: all you need to do is read each point and move on to the next, everything else is superfluous .
Marsovin leased a good chunk of land "for ever" from the government, on condition that it is used for brewing beer. Nothing wrong here, at least as far as Jason Azzopardi is concerned.
Whether John Dalli, good buddy of Premier Joseph, imposed his will on all concerned in this regard remains to be seen, but that's not what Smug Owen and the assorted other lawyers of a Labour persuasion are whining about. They only have Jason Azzopardi in the cross-hairs.
Marsovin then entered into discussions with Vassallo Builders for Vassallo to buy the land. Again, nothing wrong here, a perpetual lease is virtually ownership of the land.
The ground-rent payable on a perpetual lease can easily be redeemed, it's a standard legal mechanism which doesn't even need the consent of the land-owner, but the relevant conditions remain in place.
Vassallo didn't want the land with the brewery condition in place, so Marsovin apparently managed to get the condition removed while redeeming the ground-rent.
No-one, not even Smug Owen, is alleging, from what I can glean from his outpouring of (faux) outrage, is alleging that Azzopardi intervened to get the brewery condition removed.
Now proud owners of a nice, freely disposable, chunk of land, Marsovin flog it to Vassallo for something in the region of €8,000,000 - partly by way of cash and the vast bulk by way of absorption of debt.
Robert Abela seems to think that the real price was only the cash amount: let's chalk this up to a surfeit of enthusiasm on his part for muddying the waters. Not even a first year accountancy student would make this fundamental mistake, however.
What Jason Azzopardi has done wrong up to now baffles me - perhaps Smug Owen can enlighten me in words of one syllable?
On being told that the brewery condition had been removed without the knowledge of Director of Lands, Jason Azzopardi asked the AG to take the matter in hand.
What Azzopardi has done wrong up to now baffles me - perhaps Smug Owen can enlighten me in words of one syllable?
The market value of the removal of the brewery clause was established by well respected practitioners and paid (under protest) by Vassallo to the government. The value wasn't established by Jason Azzopardi.
Given that by the time a court case would have been concluded, the land would have changed beyond recognition, with structures within which many people work built and functioning, a compromise was the only way forward.
So what's the problem?
The problem, friends, lies in the way Premier Joseph's minions have plunged into the 'Alternative Facts' (more properly, lies) cesspool with such breathtaking glee. These specimens think they can say what they like and get away with it.
This is a stunt they've been pulling since March 2013. The lying scum who engineered Brexit and latterly the election of Trump have emulated them to perfection.