Yesterday, 14th June 2021, the media reported the decree handed down by Magistrate Rachel Montebello regarding the plea filed by Yorgen Fenech’s lawyers concerning comments made by Beppe Fenech Adami as Chairman of the PAC. Before commenting on the magistrate’s decree, I wish to laud Lovin Malta for giving the best report about this case. At least, it had an unbiased title. The other mainstream media showed their political allegiance to Beppe Fenech Adami and not to correct reporting.
Consider the following sentence from Montebello’s decree: “all he said (Beppe Fenech Adami) was that the murder of the journalist could be attributed to corruption in the Electrogas project”, is a clear indication that the magistrate had already made up her mind that Beppe Fenech Adami is right and that Electrogas is corrupt! This is an extremely serious statement by a magistrate. On what grounds does she reach such a conclusion from the compilation of evidence that has till now be brought before her or any other court? Is this the serious way an inquiring magistrate should act? Or is it a case that Beppe Fenech Adami has a hold on her because of his family name? In fact, one particular paper put up as its title “Magistrate throws out Yorgen Fenech’s breach of rights claim”.
Then, the next quote from Lovin Malta, indicates that she is contradicting herself when she states that “his (Beppe Fenech Adami) linking of Electrogas to the murder had ‘broad implications’, they did not impact Fenech’s right to the presumption of innocence”. Nevertheless, the said magistrate is still refusing to grant bail to Yorgen Fenech.
Then comes the next quote which continues to confirm that the magistrate is constantly contradicting herself and I here quote: “evident that such statements of a political nature and which constitute the defendant’s political opinion, are out of place, not only in the forum in which they were made but also because they were made by public official exerting a specific public function that has nothing to do with the criminal proceedings related to the murder Daphne Caruna Galizia”. If this comment is out of place, as she declares, how can she just rap him on the knuckles? The magistrate should decide whether there are “no broad implications”, as she states or whether Fenech Adami “should have been lot more careful when making public statements of a political nature”.
In other words, she is admitting on the one hand that such a statement by Fenech Adami has broad implications and raps him on the knuckles as though he is a naughty boy. Yet, on the other hand, this sentence illustrates clearly the validity of the English idiomatic proverb that one cannot have the cake and eat it. This is what the magistrate tried to do with this sentence, when she tried simultaneously to save Beppe Fenech Adami and at the same time reprimand him!