Times of Malta has sued its former journalist Ivan Camilleri for libel after he claimed he was sacked because his superiors were “troubled with the truth”, insisting that there’ll reason he lost his job is because of acts of gross misconduct, including leaking sensitive information to third parties and certain unnamed acts against his colleagues.
“The decision to terminate Camilleri’s employment was not taken lightly, but was forced on Allied Newspapers due to several unacceptable acts of gross misconduct, all of which amounted to a complete betrayal of the company’s journalistic principles,” Allied Newspapers, the company which owns The Times, said in a statement.
Times of Malta dismissed Camilleri last December in the wake of allegations that he had tipped off Yorgen Fenech, the man charged with the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, the day before Fenech’s botched escape from Portomaso. After his firing, the newspaper also said it had received new information which corroborated a MaltaToday report that Camilleri had been caught shoplifting from a supermarket.
Yesterday, the former journalist threatened his former employers with legal action, arguing that his dismissal was illegal and based of pure conjectures and that the newspaper refused to hand over his own personal files.
“In under 90 minutes, those responsible for Allied Newspapers ‘assassinated’ their most vociferous journalistic voice without bringing one single shred of evidence to sustain their conspiracies,” he said. “Obviously, I will not tolerate this.”
However, Allied said today that Camilleri had committed several acts of gross misconduct over the years, including leaking sensitive information to third parties, shoplifting from a supermarket and other unnamed cases involving “unacceptable conduct” against his colleagues.
“Over the past years, there were also other cases brought to the company’s attention involving various incidents of unacceptable conduct by Camilleri in relation to his work colleagues for which he had received ample due written warnings,” Allis said. “Several of these colleagues, past and present, are prepared to testify against Camilleri in court.”