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Malta’s Former Head Of Hate Speech Unit Apologises For Telling Arnold Cassola To ‘Just Get A Life’

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Malta’s former Head of Hate Crime and Speech Unit, Dr Joseph Borg, has issued an apology for “political and offensive comments on Facebook” after a complaint was filed to the Commissioner for Standards in Public Life by Matthew Caruana Galizia.

Borg issued the stinging insult in the wake of Arnold Cassola’s claims of a possible quid pro quo between Energy Minister Michael Farrugia and Yorgen Fenech in a Malta Today article published in April 2020.

“Profs Cassola just get a life as the one you have at the moment sucks,” said Joseph Borg’s Facebook post.

Cassola’s comments came after revelations that Farrugia held a meeting with Yorgen Fenech a few hours before personally writing to the Planning Authority to consider Mriehel for possible high-rise development.

The decision paved the way for Tumas and Gasan to file an application for a development known as the ‘quad towers’.

A complaint with Commissioner for Standards in Public Life was immediately filed. Not simply because the comment was offensive, but Borg’s position in government as the former head of the Hate Crime and Speech Unit within the Home Affairs Ministry (which was headed by Farrugia at the time) and his current position within the Energy Ministry.

After an email was sent to him regarding the complaint, he replied on the exact day when his contract ended and stopped being a person of trust.

“I’m just a normal citizen that wishes to be left alone and not harassed by you, your department nor the Commissioner,” said Joseph Borg in his reply.

After dialogue between Dr Joseph Borg and the Commissioner for Standards in Public Life, a meeting was set between them on 28th August where it was decided that Dr Borg will give an apology for his comments.

“In hindsight, I regret the kind of language used, and I apologise if I offended someone with my comments. What I wrote in that post does not represent what I am as a professional nor as a person,”

He also mentioned how his angry words came after a recent loss in his life.

“It is only a reflection of my frame of mind at that time. I was angry and grieving the loss of my partner of 14 years due to her passing 7 days prior,” read Dr Borg’s apology. 

What do you think of this situation?

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