Former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has denied a stunning claim in court by the son of the late novelist Frans Sammut that he had asked his father to be part of a blog attacking Daphne Caruana Galizia.
“I will refrain from entering into controversies with Mr Sammut, on the contents of what he said and the reason for his actions, out of the respect I had and still have for his father, who I always considered a friend,” Muscat told Lovin Malta. “I will simply say that what he said is incorrect.”
Frans Sammut’s son Mark Sammut, himself an author, yesterday told the public inquiry looking into the assassination of Caruana Galizia that Muscat had approached his father to contribute to a blog intended to put the journalist in a bad light.
Sammut, author of Il-Gaġġa and Samuraj, died in 2011, two years before Muscat became Prime Minister, so any offer must have been made when he was still Opposition leader.
Mark Sammut said his father had brought up Muscat’s offer during a casual conversation around the kitchen table some years ago. He said that his father “wasn’t sympathetic” towards Caruana Galizia but that he rejected the proposal because it went against his own morals.
His son said he didn’t think much of his father’s words back then, but was reminded of them several years later after reading how Muscat had told the public inquiry that he never instigated hatred against Caruana Galizia.
“When I read this my memory was triggered,” Sammut said, adding that he felt he had a moral legacy towards his father to inform the inquiry board.
Following Muscat’s denial, Sammut reiterated his version of events, telling Lovin Malta there’s no reason why his father would have lied so many years ago or why he would lie today.
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