One of the three sons of assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia has challenged Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri to sue him for libel over the same stories they had sued his late mother for.
Paul Caruana Galizia issued his challenge on Twitter in response to a tweet by Mizzi which quoted Paul’s father Peter as saying in court today that he expects him to withdraw the libel suits he had filed against Daphne Caruana Galizia “following false allegations” against him.
“Vile. Any civilised person would expect a minister to first not sue and second drop the suit after the defendant is assassinated,” Paul Caruana Galizia said. “The expectation is beyond you. But why don’t you also sue me? You laundered the proceeds of your corruption through companies including Hearnville Inc.”
“And you had an extra-marital affair with Labour apparatchik Lindsey Gambin. Since you share Aron Mifsud Bonnici, as [Economy Minister] Chris Cardona and Joe Gerada share prostitutes, Keith Schembri laundered the proceeds of his corruption through companies including Tillgate Inc. Fair comment and right.”
“The Prime Minister says that there’s no organised harassment against my family, but we see the Maltese government and the Labour Party go from using the courts to harass my mother to harassing her widower. A really nice bunch.”
The court convened today to continue hearing several libel cases that Mizzi and Schembri had filed against Caruana Galizia last year over her reports on the Panama Papers.
Konrad Mizzi’s lawyer Aron Mifsud Bonnici
As quoted by The Times, Peter Caruana Galizia said he had expected Mizzi and Schembri to withdraw the libel cases against his wife after she had died.
“Isn’t it enough that she died? Now you want the money too?” he asked.
Mizzi’s lawyer Aron Mifsud Bonnici asked Caruana Galizia whether he wants to continue the cases or apologise for what his wife had written and request the suits be withdrawn.
Caruana Galizia responded that he was merely stepping into the lawsuits in terms of law and isn’t familiar with the merits of the case, having probably just read them on his wife’s blog as several other people had.
Mifsud Bonnici demanded Caruana Galizia produce proof that money was transferred into a bank account held by Mizzi’s Panama company, to which Caruana Galizia said he’ll look for evidence and the lawyer hit back with a snide remark: “Where? In [Daphne’s] laptop by any chance?”
“Very funny! I don’t have the laptop. It’s not my wife’s laptop that counts but that of Joseph Muscat and other Ministers,” Caruana Galizia said.
Contacted by Lovin Malta, Caruana Galizia said his expectance that the libel cases be dropped had nothing to do with doubt about his late wife’s stories.
“It’s up to the plaintiffs to decide whether to drop the libel cases or not and I’m not going to beg them to do so,” he said. “I just thought it would be the civil thing for them to do after my wife got killed, just as Adrian Delia and Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando retracted their libel cases. If they don’t drop the cases, then I will defend my wife to the best of my abilities but of course it’s a problem that the best evidence is dead.”