Nationalist Party candidate Emma Portelli Bonnici has retracted a criminal complaint against Fr Andrew Borg after he apologised for calling her a satanist, a nazi and a murderer, among other adjectives, over her pro-choice views.
Portelli Bonnici had filed a police report over the incident, with Borg having been spoken to by the police.
In a post this afternoon, the PN candidate said she had decided to retract her complaint in view of the apology.
“I would like to take this time to remind everyone that the law is there to protect us – and as such I encourage anyone who feels affronted to use their rights at law. No one should be mocked for accessing their rights at law when necessary.
“No one should be discouraged from seeking legal protection. No one should be told to get ‘thicker skin’ after enduring verbal abuse every day for months and choosing to report a single comment that they felt crossed the line in a sea of unkindness,” she said.
Portelli Bonnici said she hoped that through Borg’s apology, “we can move forward, and all be more enlightened in situations like this in the future”.
“As a people, we need to embrace the notion of empathy and understanding – even when we may disagree with one another,” she added.
The story had hit the headlines after Portelli Bonnici reproduced a comment that Borg left under a post in an anti-abortion Facebook group that said the PN candidate wanted a discussion on abortion.
His was one of several vicious comments that the PN candidate reproduced, with others calling her “the devil’s daughter”, telling her to “get sterilised” and saying it’s a sin she’s still alive, and others leaving sexual slurs.
This followed a press conference on sexual health that Portelli Bonnici delivered alongside Shadow Health Minister Stephen Spiteri in which Spiteri had said that the party felt there was the need for a parliamentary debate on abortion.
Portelli Bonnici was assisted by lawyers Franco Debono and Marion Camilleri while Matthew Brincat assisted Borg.
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