Matthew Caruana Galizia has described Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s offer to withdraw a libel case he had instigated against his late mother Daphne Caruana Galizia over the Egrant story as “bloodthirsty”.
“Joseph Muscat, the Prime Minister of Malta, is still pursuing a libel case against my dead mother, who was assassinated in front of me over a year ago,” Caruana Galizia tweeted. “This is what we are dealing with. In the European Union. In 2019.”
“Almost the same kind of bloodthirstiness that would indicate a predisposition to want to murder that journalist, wouldn’t you say?”
Meanwhile, Caruana Galizia’s brother Paul called Muscat a pig and her sister Corinne Vella accused him of trying to blackmail the family.
In a joint statement, the Caruana Galizia family confirmed they will refuse Muscat’s offer as they will “not concede to extortion from our public servants”.
Muscat had sued Caruana Galizia for libel when she claimed in 2017 that the Panama company Egrant belonged to his wife. Muscat kept the libel case open when the journalist was assassinated in a car bomb a few months later, but said in court today he is willing to drop it if Caruana Galizia’s heirs admit her Egrant story was a lie.
“I’m not after the person responsible but I will be content if it is accepted that it was a lie,” Muscat testified. “I expect and demand a clear declaration from the other party that they were wrong, after which I will be ready to drop the libel cases.”
Last year, a magisterial inquiry found no evidence to back up Caruana Galizia’s claim that Egrant belonged to Michelle Muscat and that it had received large sums of money from a Dubai company belonging to Azerbaijan’s ruling family. It also found contradictions between the testimonies of Caruana Galizia and her main informer, former Pilatus Bank employee Maria Efimova.
Meanwhile, Opposition leader Adrian Delia has filed a court case against the Attorney General to demand the publication of the full report.