Retired auditor Godfrey Leone Ganado testified in court today to answer for Facebook comments calling Labour MP Rosianne Cutajar a prostitute.
Cutajar sued Leone Ganado last November after he posted an old article about her with the caption “Ħamalli, prostitutes and call girls have a right to be represented in Parliament” and after he called her an ‘qaħba’ (prostitute) on a status uploaded by Occupy Justice activist Rachel Williams.
Cutajar also sued Williams on the grounds that she had ‘liked’ Leone Ganado’s comment and hadn’t deleted it from her wall.
In court today, Leone Ganado argued that he wasn’t indicating Cutajar was a prostitute but that she was a “political prostitute”, a term he said applied to the majority of government MPs.
However, Cutajar’s lawyers Edward Gatt and Mark Vassallo challenged the retired auditor with other Facebook statuses, in which he used the specific term ‘political prostitute’ when criticising Health Minister Chris Fearne and Civil Liberties Minister Helen Dalli.
In her testimony, coincidentally a day before International Women’s Day, Cutajar said Leone Ganado’s comments hurt her as a woman.
“We often talk a lot about the dangers violence, and verbal violence is a type of violence which can have damaging psychological effects on people.”
She said she sued Leone Ganado because she wanted to send a message to women that such comments are unacceptable in a democratic society.
Cover photo: Left: Rosianne Cutajar, Right: Godfrey Leone Ganado