The main story of the Sunday Times of Malta today is about Joseph Muscat and the alleged help he gave Yorgen Fenech in his energy business. According to this article, Joseph Muscat established contacts with Paolo Scaroni in March 2019 who, at the time, was the President of AC Milan. Up to 2014, Scaroni was also former chief executive of the Italian oil group Enel. He is currently Deputy Chairman of Rothschilds & Co.
The Sunday Times’ article forced Muscat to issue a press release. He felt that the Sunday Times story was not being fair in its reporting. The journalist, Jacob Borg wrote a partial news item that was presented in a way to cast a shadow on the former Prime Minister. Muscat insisted, in his press release, that he acted and behaved correctly. Moreover, Muscat stated the obvious. This article was based on information obtained from Yorgen Fenech’s Whatsapp messages. What angered Muscat was the fact that The Sunday Times was selective on which Whatsapp messages were used and which to ignore. This was done deliberately to create a biased and fake image.
I will not go into the merits or otherwise of the article. I intend focusing instead on another relevant point Joseph Muscat’s press release mentions. The former Prime Minister states that this article is built on information found in Yorgen Fenech’s Whatsapp messages. In brief, this is an article built on conversations retrieved from Yorgen Fenech’s phone and on which Magistrate Rachel Montebello imposed a ban on publication. Any person who publishes them is liable to be accused of contempt of court. Conveniently The Sunday Times did not refer to the Whatsapp messages directly but it is obvious from the contents of Jacob Borg’s piece that the info came from Yorgen Fenech’s phone.
The question that needs to be asked at this point is what is Magistrate Montebello going to do now, after a former Prime Minister of Malta, specifically declares that Jacob Borg is making use of information from Whatsapp messages on which that same magistrate had imposed a ban? Is she going to investigate Jacob Borg and put him under contempt of court or not?
If she does not, one has to conclude that justice in Malta is truly selective and the courts act according to who you are and to which family and political clique you belong and no increase in the number of the judiciary’s organigram is going to change what has become an endemic syndrome of our system.
Incidentally, is the Commissioner of Police going to investigate Joseph Muscat’s allegation that this article is built on information obtained from material on which there is publication ban from the court?
The only individuals who have access to these Whatsapp messages, besides the magistrate, are the defence lawyers, the parte civile and the prosecution. It is a known fact that the police are feeding information to the media in particular if the information can put Yorgen Fenech even in worse light. Furthermore, besides the police, Jason Azzopardi and Therese Comodini Cachia, together with the Caruana Galizia family have access to these Whatsapp messages to the extent that they wanted to give copies to the three judges of the inquiry. Whether the judges have had access to this information or not is not known as the session about the Whatsapp messages was held behind closed doors!
There is also the Assistant Attorney General for the Republic, Philip Galea Farrugia. He too has access to these Whatsapp messages. What I wish to ask Galea Farruigia, who is a close friend of Jason Azzopardi, is whether he is going to refer this Sunday Times’ article to Magistrate Montebello and ask her to investigate the journalist as he did in my case? Or is he going to show how truly selective the goings on in our judiciary can be? No wonder that according to the 2020 Democracy index drawn up by The Economist, Malta ‘remains a ‘flawed democracy’ as reported in Malta Independent on Feb 5 2021.
Readers should be reminded that I am currently accused of contempt of court for allegedly having published information on which, Magistrate Montebello, imposed a ban. Moreover, I was put under contempt of court by Magistrate Montebello at the request of Jason Azzopardi. Azzopardi was acting on behalf of the Caruana Galizia family. In his request, Azzopardi stated that it is very likely that any person who publishes banned information by the court is part of a criminal web. Magistrate Montebello endorsed Azzopardi’s theory to the extent that I am now being charged with contempt of court. I am denying the charges.