Lovin Malta has officially filed its historic court case to determine whether propaganda on political party TV stations should be declared unconstitutional.
The court case argues that a law approved by Parliament in 1991 to permit the stations to open went completely contrary to the demands of the Constitution.
A proviso in Article 13 of the Broadcasting Act enables party stations to exist on the premise that they balance each other out, even though Malta’s Constitution, the highest law in the land, clearly states that all broadcast media should be as much as possible impartial. One and Net are the exact opposite of what the Constitution demands, Lovin Malta argues.
“The only argument that exists in favour of partisan stations is that if both stations violate the Constitution, then there is a balance in wrongdoing and that wrongdoing becomes appropriate and constitutional.”
“At present, the Broadcasting Act allows for a situation where that which is wrong is considered right, as long as both sides violate the Constitution and thus this mutual constitutional delinquency eradicates and negates any violation,” the court application read.
The lawyers who filed the case are Eve Borg Costanzi and Matthew Cutajar. The case will be heard in front of the Civil Courts.
A number of high-profile Maltese politicians have criticised the existence of party media in the past, including former Prime Minister Eddie Fenech Adami, who said they’ll eventually be made redundant; former President George Abela; and former Finance Minister Lino Spiteri. Former Prime Minister Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici even predicted that the law would be challenged in court.
Malta’s political party stations also face mounting financial difficulties. Media.Link, which looks after the PN’s Net Tv, had reported a loss of €341,840 and total debt of €8.4 million when it last filed accounts in 2003.
Meanwhile, One Productions reported a loss of €507,479 when it last published its accounts in 2010. Total debt stood at €2,704,029.
It’s been more than a decade since either published their accounts. Still, Media.Link and One Productions have never been fined for failing to do so as is required by regulation.
Lovin Malta is arguing that these financial difficulties also render the political parties highly vulnerable to corruption since they are dependent on big business donations.
The PN and PL have regularly been asked to explain why the accounts are yet to be published and they have failed to do so. Promises to publish the accounts continue to be unrealised, raising serious doubts over the financial structures of these two massive media organisations.
You can read all about the case on www.kaxxaturi.com.
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