Nationalist MP Mario de Marco has endorsed a statement by his party which condemned his nephew, Yorgen Fenech’s lawyer Gianluca Caruana Curran, for reportedly trying to bribe a Times of Malta journalist.
“The independence of the media free from fear or influence is a fundamental principle of democracy,” de Marco told Lovin Malta. “The statement issued by the Partit Nazzjonalista reflects the position of the Parliamentary Group of which I form part.”
Mario de Marco is also an administrator of the Strickland Foundation, which owns a majority stake in Allied Newspaper, the company which owns Times of Malta.
Yesterday, Times of Malta journalist Ivan Martin recounted how Caruana Curran had offered him €500 notes during a recent meeting in return for favourable coverage towards his client, who has been charged with conspiring to assassinate Daphne Caruana Galizia.
Caruana Curran confirmed that he offered “remuneration” to Martin in return for favourable coverage towards his client, saying the journalist “led them to understand that we could use his services to help neutralise the bias in the reporting in the media.”
Police are investigating the incident, while Jason Azzopardi, who also represents Caruana Galizia’s family, has called for the Commission for the Administration of Justice to take “severe steps”.
Malta’s Chamber of Advocates has called for an investigation while the Institute of Maltese Journalist also lambasted the alleged attempt at bribery.
Both the PL and the PN have condemned this incident, while Caruana Galizia’s family has filed a court complaint to the magistrate presiding over the murder case against Yorgen Fenech.