Prime Minister Robert Abela is resorting to spreading blatant lies through the Labour Party’s media in order to defend prison director Alex Dalli, the Nationalist Party’s chief strategist Christian Peregin said this morning.
Yesterday, after the Nationalist Party’s NET had announced that it would be airing an interview with an anonymous former prison inmate, ONE News published a report claiming that the former inmate that was interviewed was alleged drug trafficker Jordan Azzopardi.
The website ran a story with the headline “Net news with an interview with Malta’s El Chapo to attack the prison’s work”, but it quickly transpired that Azzopardi was in fact not the person interviewed.
In comments to the Times of Malta, Azzopardi himself categorically denied having been interviewed and expressed his anger at finding out he had been named by ONE.
But despite this, the story remains on ONE’s website.
“There was a time when I thought Robert Abela seemed to be a pleasant departure from Joseph Muscat. But after what happened yesterday, there’s little doubt the situation is only more desperate with him in charge,” Peregin said.
Rather than take action to allay people’s concerns about the situation within Malta’s prison, Abela had opted for “something spectacularly devious” in getting “his media outlet” to discredit calls for reform.
Peregin added that had it actually been Azzopardi who spoke to Net, it would already have been “crazy for our government to ‘out’ a critic instead of responding to his arguments”.
“But in this case it’s even worse: Abela resorted to blatant lies – a completely invented story – to defend Alex Dalli and continue making sure prison remains a chamber of death instead of reform,” Peregin said
“And even when his lies were exposed, he kept persisting in the lie to try and dupe as many voters as possible.”
He said that the “sad truth” was that such tactics worked because “Labour’s propaganda spreads faster than the truth” and appealed for readers to share his message to prevent this from happening.
In recent weeks, journalists, activists and politicians have all been targetting with an online disinformation campaign. A fake website posing as Manuel Delia has been set up, along with several fake emails being regularly sent to the country’s newsrooms and journalists.
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