On 17 April 2021, one of the main newspapers in the Netherlands, Trout, carried an article on the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. Penned by Pieternel Gruppen, the title in English would read “A Unique Public Inquiry Sheds Light on the Murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.” Gruppen’s three main sources were Daphne Caruana Galizia’s sisters, Mandy and Corinne, and Manuel Delia.
What are Gruppen’s conclusion? He concludes that there is no press freedom In Malta. Why? Because journalists are being subjected to libel cases. Gruppen should note that Daphne Caruana Galizia’s family asked Magistrate Rachel Montebello to put me under contempt of court for – according to them – I have published a recording (which I have not ) on which the court had set a ban on its publication. This recording was exhibited during the compilation of evidence against Yorgen Fenech which is still ongoing.
Gruppen should indeed take note that I was selected and targeted by the Caruana Galizia family for expressing my right to freedom of expression. The same magistrate again put me under contempt of court because of my writings, this time round after the public prosecutor disagreed with what I wrote. Possibly, it would be opportune for Mr Gruppen to note that Philip Galea Farrugia, the public prosecutor in Malta, is in cahoots with Caruana Galizia’s lawyer, Jason Azzopardi.
Therefore, stating that it is only the inquiry judges who are shedding light on the case is an autogoal from the start. If the family of Caruana Galizia, as maintained by Gruppen, have faith only in the judges sitting on the of the public inquiry, this does not augur well for the courts.
Gruppen should also be made aware that the same magistrate, who has put me under contempt of court was asked by Galea Farrugia to investigate me. He even invoked the magistrate’s protection because he felt threatened by my blogs. Furthermore, Gruppen should also note that Manuel Delia, who is being presented to the Dutch public as a beacon of truth, wrote an article praising the magistrate for her action to silence me! What the Caruana Galizia family and their acolytes desperately want is to shut me up but I shall continue writing. What Mr Gruppen should realize is that, in Malta, the real threat to freedom of expression is coming from the Caruana Galizias and their minions.
On Wednesday, 28th April, I will be facing court procedures for another article I wrote in which I refer to a certain Arthur, whose name was mentioned in court in connection with oil smuggling and murder. I had asked the police whether they have investigated these allegations. A lawyer, by the name of Arthur Azzopardi, who in the past had collaborated with Jason Azzopardi, stated that I was referring to him and instituted a libel case against me. Is Gruppen aware who is appearing for Arthur Azzopardi? Probably not. Arthur Azzopardi is going to be represented by Dr. Zammit Maempel. The same man the Caruana Galizia family uses for their libel cases. This, Mr Gruppen, is the true reality on the island.
Obviously, you are not sufficiently well informed and have chosen to take a short cut and accept as truth all that he has been told to you by Delia, Mandy and Corinne, the last two being Daphne’s sisters.
As one continues reading Gruppen it is clear that he has completely relied on what has been relayed to him by the three names above without taking the trouble to dig deeper failing miserably to seek out the views of the other side of the coin. One-sided reporting does not make a journalist. It is clear that Gruppen has not bothered to verify all the facts and has chosen to rely completely on a one-sided version albeit the victim’s family and their supporters. But there are more half-truths and lies in this article. He stated that all the judges sitting on the public inquiry are all retired which is absolutely a falsehood. The journalist repeated the story that Egrant belongs to Michelle Muscat.
As a journalist, Gruppen needs to substantiate his storylines with facts. Where are the facts in this case? There was a magisterial inquiry that showed that this was not the case. There was no proof that Egrant belonged to Michelle Muscat.
Furthermore, Gruppen goes on to refer to the work of the three judges. I have had the chance of writing about this inquiry but as a professional journalist, Gruppen should know that the husband of the only female judge on the board – who incidentally is NOT a retired judge – had business dealings with Yorgen Fenech.
What I can observe is that Gruppen’s article was published at a moment in time, when a series of articles are reappearing in the international press to further tarnish the name of Malta. Journalists like Gruppen and rapporteurs like Omtzigt etc should also start looking at their own home territory before starting throwing mud at other countries, especially when they are not prepared to properly do their homework honestly and correctly by weighing all the pros and cons and not just what suits their miscalculated agenda.