Malta Book Council chairman Mark Camilleri has been instructed to resign by the Education Ministry following a spat on Facebook with one of murder suspect Yorgen Fenech’s lawyers.
Permanent secretary Frank Fabri emailed Camilleri this evening, telling him to step down from his position, which he has held for the past seven years.
“In light of what you published in the public domain and what has been reported in the media and what is certainly not exemplary to the public and educational sector, I am asking you to consider you position in the National Book Council and resign your post out of your own free will,” Fabri wrote, in an email seen by Lovin Malta.
Fabri added a link to this article by the news website StradaRjali.
Camilleri responded that he has no intention of resigning and that he intends to call the National Writers’ Congress tomorrow so that local publishers and authors can decide whether or not he should step down.
The controversy started this evening after Camilleri defended the public inquiry which has been set up to establish whether the state could have prevented Caruana Galizia’s brutal assassination and which is set to continue into the new year.
“Those who are scared of public inquiries and the truth have a lot to hide,” he wrote. “Public inquiries aren’t there to serve political interests. I’m very pleased that, thanks to this public inquiry, we’ve found out about many more new truths and I wholly support the judiciary panel as they continue working towards the truth.”
After he posted on Facebook, lawyer Juliette Galea sent Camilleri a message, linking him to an article which quoted her recent demand for the suspension of the public inquiry on the grounds that it’s breaching her client’s rights.
In her letter to several Maltese authorities, Galea questioned why the inquiry board is composed of two retired judges and one sitting judge, arguing that the legal concept of a public inquiry “was birthed as an upshot of parliamentary accountability and ought to have nothing to do with a judicial process”.
“Here is the link to the letter. Read it all. It explains how a public inquiry should be done and why it’s not judicial. You’re saying stupid things,” she told Camilleri.
Camilleri told her to “shove this letter up her arse”, Galea called him stupid, and the Book Council chairman proceeded to publish the entire exchange on his wall.
Galea then took it a step forward, calling Camilleri an “ignoramus” and saying he should be fired from the Malta Book Council. Camilleri retorted by saying that she “could kiss my glorious, brown Marxist ass”.
Camilleri’s post was then reported to Facebook for alleged ‘harassment’, and the social media giant responded by blocking him from posting.
Cover photo: Left: Mark Camilleri, Right: Permanent Secretary Frank Fabri