Last Monday, Matthew Caruana Galizia posted a message on his Facebook timeline. What follows are Matthew Caruana Galizia’s words:
“I’ll throw her out of this window.” Words of accused murderer Yorgen Fenech.
If the accused has ever said that expression in reference to Daphne Caruana Galizia, which I doubt, most probably he would have said it in Maltese not English. The phrase would be – “nitfaħha barra mit-tieqa”. This is a common expression in Maltese used by someone who has had enough of, for instance, nagging or anything similar. It is a colloquial expression and in no way is it ever meant to be taken literally. But coming from a person, whose mother hated the Maltese language, it shows that even her son does not have a good grasp of the language and the meaning of such expressions. Those using such an expression have no intention of physically grabbing somebody and throwing him/her, out of a window.
In history, this is known as an act of defenestration. The most famous incident of defenestration happened at the start of the Thirty Years Wars of Religion, after three Catholic officials were thrown out of the window of a castle in Prague where they were put under trial in 1618. In the case of Daphne, there was no such issue. Therefore, to whom was this expression addressed? To his mother Daphne Caruana Galizia or to somebody else? There was, however, the incident, which everybody seems to have forgotten when Daphne Caruana Galizia threw plates at Peter, her husband, Matthew’s father. Furthermore, after this domestic incident, Daphne’s husband lodged a report with the local police force.
However, there is more to this expression than just a linguistic or cultural analysis.
First, there are legal implications. Readers should remember that Magistrate Rachel Montebello warned all parties to refrain from publishing anything about this case. In my opinion, Matthew’s message defies Magistrate Montebello’s orders.
Secondly, from where did Matthew Caruana Galizia get this phrase? I hope that he did not get it from the famous tapes of Melvin Theuma. I wish remind Matthew Caruana Galizia that he, together with his father Peter, and the rest of his siblings, requested Magistrate Montebello to put me under contempt of court for allegedly publishing an extract from these recordings. Magistrate Montebello immediately upheld their request.
Thirdly, in their request to Magistrate Montebello, Peter Caruana Galizia and his three sons argued that whoever publishes or makes known extracts of these recordings is most likely to be part of a criminal gang. In their opinion, those who publish extracts from Melvin Theuma’s recordings want to reduce to tatters all their rights in this case. The word used by their lawyer, Jason Azzopardi, was “trietaq”. Magistrate Montebello was so convinced of the argument presented by Peter and his three sons that she upheld their request and put me under contempt of court. The natural question that I will address to Matthew Caruana Galizia is the following. After publishing a phrase which seems to be from these records, does Matthew Caruana Galizia feel that he is part of a criminal gang as he alleged in his petition to Magistrate Montebello against all those who publish extracts from the recordings of Melvin Theuma?
I don’t know if this extract forms part of a recording that should not be published, as I do not know which recordings were played in open court and which are not. What I can state is that this phrase was never reported before by the media, including when the media published information about the recordings that were played in open court. What was reported in the media was the following phrase. I am here quoting from Malta Today of 5 February 2020:
“She broke him… it emerged in public that in three months’ time he’d die… I’d throw her from here to the ground and I don’t care about the children,” Fenech’s voice is heard saying.”
What I can add is that Matthew Caruana Galizia seems to have a legal right to upload or publish extracts from the recordings of Melvin Theuma. Matthew Caruana Galizia published this extract after the Times of Malta published a lengthy article to discredit Julian Hofstra. Let’s hope that Melvin Theuma did not use the services of Julian Hofstra to record Yorgen Fenech, because if this is the case, then Matthew Caruana Galizia is publishing a phrase that originates from the services offered by a person whom the The Times described as fraudster. On my part, I will not go into the matter of whether this phrase is true or not. It will be up to the courts to establish the authenticity of this phrase or not.
What worries me, however, are the double standards of the Caruana Galizia family. They are asking the court to find me in contempt of court for allegedly publishing extracts of the recordings and then, they can publish extracts of recordings with impunity.
While, those who had shared the Reddit recordings can argue that it is not clear which recordings were banned and which were not, as they were not in court the day such recordings were banned, the Caruana Galizia family and their lawyers were in court and therefore have no excuse. They are fully aware of this ban. Not only were they in court but they are also being given preferential treatment. What does transpire from Matthew Caruana Galizia’s post is that the Caruana Galizia have a right to quote and publish extracts from the recordings with impunity while the plebs cannot do so.