On 23rd January 2021, the Times of Malta published an article which was solely aimed at slandering Charles Mercieca, one of Yorgen Fenech’s defence counsels. The article in question reads “Inspector suspended over suspected ‘leak’ to Yorgen Fenech lawyer”. In Maltese, there is an expression to describe such type of headings – x’pastazata ta’ titlu – what a messy title.
It is clear that, at least from the contents of this article, inspector Elton Taliana was investigating or had information about a case that has nothing to do with Yorgen Fenech’s case. Then, why was Yorgen Fenech’s name dragged into the contents and worse still included in the heading?
If any editor worth his salt wanted to be honest with his readers, the name of lawyer Charles Mercieca should have been in the title and not that of Yorgen Fenech! With each day that passes, it is evident that the Times of Malta has now joined what is known as gutter journalism when reporting Yorgen Fenech’s case and not only.
From now on, any legal case, in which Charles Mercieca or Gianluca Caruana Curran will be appearing, the media that supports the interests of Daphne’s family, is going to refer to them as Yorgen Fenech’s lawyers?! But it does not stop here.
Newsbook has joined the fray. This media house maintains that it publishes trustworthy news! Trustworthy indeed! Its heading beat that of the ToM for incorrect reporting. It read that Charles Mercieca was arrested by the police. Not only was this a blatant lie but a serious breach of ethics for its falsehood. This is very serious when one considers that this newspaper is financed by the Archdiocese of Malta.
Not only was this heading a lie, but to add to the incompetence of this online newspaper, had it taken the trouble to check facts before jumping on the bandwagon of fake and irresponsible reporting, it would have found that Charles Mercieca was never arrested by the police. How is that for responsible, honest reporting? This is not only a clear case of mud-slinging but also a case of attempting to manipulate readers.
I ask you whether a lawyer has not the right to accept to defend whosoever he so chooses? Besides, what gives one the right to spread untruths as a result of a lawyer’s choice of client because this is not music to those wearing blinkers and wallowing in sheer journalese?
So incorrect was the Church media that it had to correct the title. In fact, the Bishops’ media had to change it to read that “Charles Mercieca javviċina lil pulizija”. This too is incorrect. No one “javviċina lill-puliżija”. No doubt the correct reporting should be that Charles Mercieca went of his own accord to the police to help in an investigation. Indeed, the Church Media had to also admit that Charles Mercieca went to the police of his own accord!
The media backing the Daphne Caruana Galizia family and this includes the church media, wants to portray Charles Mercieca as a criminal simply because he is defending Yorgen Fenech. This is sinking to the lowest level of reporting. At the end of the day what all this melee is pointing to is the fact that the police have a weak case against Yorgen Fenech, yet it remains hell bent in its mission to destroy the defence with the help of the Times of Malta and Newsbook. To this, I would dare add that the police are panicking because the truth is slowly coming to the fore that Yorgen Fenech has been framed.