Academics should articulate their views and opinions in a “truthful and respectful” manner, the University of Malta has said when asked for their opinion about history lecturer Simon Mercieca’s blog.
“Academics employed by the University enjoy academic freedom which includes complete freedom of expression,” a spokesperson for the UoM told Lovin Malta. “A good number of academics have their own personal blogs and contribute opinion columns to mainstream media. Such writings and posts, published or uploaded on a wide range of platforms, including social media, represent the personal viewpoint of the writers and do not reflect in any way the position or views of the University of Malta.”
“That being said, the University encourages its academics to engage in healthy discussion of divergent views and opinions, which articulation should be truthful and respectful with a view to spread light rather than heat.”
“The consumers of Dr Mercieca’s writings can judge for themselves if the academic is indeed contributing to this type of communication. If his writings cause offence to affected parties, these have the faculty to seek redress through the appropriate channels.”
Since setting up his blog in October, Mercieca has pedalled a number of wild conspiracy theories, particularly with regards the case against Yorgen Fenech, who has been charged with the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia.
Mercieca has claimed that Fenech was framed up and has been kept in police custody simply to satisfy the Caruana Galizia family and the internal political rivals of former PN leader Adrian Delia.
When Police Commissioner Angelo Gafa recently told the Caruana Galizia public inquiry that the motive behind the journalist’s assassination was unclear, Mercieca said Gafa “indirectly confirmed that Yorgen Fenech isn’t the mastermind”.
“Yorgen Fenech is only being kept in jail because Repubblika, the Caruana Galizia family and their lawyers have decided that the Electrogas power station is the motive behind this crime, and the lawyers used this story to remove Delia as PN leader,” he wrote.
Mercieca also suggested that the original conspiracy was for former Economy Minister Chris Cardona to be framed for Caruana Galizia’s murder, with her salacious story that he had visited a German brothel while on ministerial duty set up at the motive.
He said that key to all of this is the murder of David Abela, who was found with stab wounds in his neck, naked, and with hands and legs bound in his Swieqi residence back in February 2017.
This mysterious murder has never been solved but Mercieca suggested he could have been the person who informed Caruana Galizia about Cardona’s alleged brothel visit a month earlier and that this can be verified by analysing the late journalist’s laptop, which is in the hands of the German police.
However, he said the unnamed plotters ultimately decided to “frame” Fenech because he was wealthier, which means they could win more damages from him.
Last week, Mercieca falsely claimed Lovin Malta CEO Christian Peregin was awarded a tender by Air Malta. And last month, he was charged with contempt of court after he distributed snippets of tapes allegedly taken by middleman Melvin Theuma which had been anonymously uploaded to Reddit.