Jason, Ronnie and Charlon rush to court to root for the magistrate

Published: March 2, 2010 at 10:05pm
Charlon Gouder of Super One embraces Magistrate Herrera at her 45th birthday party

Charlon Gouder of Super One embraces Magistrate Herrera at her 45th birthday party

One of the things I wrote about Magistrate Consuelo Herrera is that she repeatedly, regularly and blatantly breaches the code of ethics for the judiciary by consorting with Labour politicians and Super One personnel and conducting intimate friendships with them.

So you would think that the people at Super One might have the good sense to back off and stop being so bloody obvious about their passionate friendship with the magistrate. After all, even chickens have brains.

But no. This morning while waiting for my lawyer I popped into Cafe Cordina for an espresso at the bar. There they were, lined up with their own coffees opposite me: the magistrate’s brother and Labour MP Jose Herrera, Super One chairman Jason Micallef and his ‘friend’ and former Lorry Sant henchman, Ronnie Pellegrini. Jason and Ronnie were all dressed up for court in pale ‘sjuts’ and even paler ties, like poster boys for LGBT Labour.

Meanwhile, an entire news crew from Super One – cameraman, photographer, reporters – camped out outside the law courts for almost three hours, waiting for me to enter and then waiting for me to exit. You’d think Noel Arrigo was being taken up on a bribery charge.

In court, the magistrate declared that he would have no circus with people standing around the room, and that all those who couldn’t find a seat would have to leave. Jason squeezed onto a bench (hip to hip with one of my sisters, much to her disgust) and proceeded to send urgent text messages to HQ.

Charlon sat on the bench reserved for the press. U Ronnie baqa barra ghax ma lahaqx post, and found himself following proceedings with his nose pressed up against that little window in the door.

Then it occurred to me that neither Jason nor Charlon should be in the room, because I plan to call them up as witnesses. I told my lawyer, who told the magistrate, who told them to leave.

But Charlon and Jason weren’t taking any of that. Oh no. Charlon protested that he hadn’t been notified that he was a witness (like that has anything to do with the price of eggs), and Jason actually challenged the magistrate and demanded an explanation. He got it. They left. The pale suit and tie were all a waste of effort.

And before you get too excited – nothing happened in court.

When we left the building, the desperate Super One people were still there. Perhaps they had borrowed Joseph Musumeci’s famous picnic cooler and stuffed it with provisions (‘Oh look, what’s this? A Melita Cable connection box!’). They followed us down the road, up the road, and sideways. They used their mike to eavesdrop on our conversation and when we called a policewoman to stop the harassment, Charlon Gouder came up and actually towed her away by the arm, and the policewoman went off with him beaming.

We intended to eat lunch on the square at Malata, but the prospect of an entire lunch with Charlon Gouder and those ugly goblins with their cameras rolling was too much. So we went elsewhere, indoors.

While we walked and the goblins filmed, I amused myself and rendered tracts of their footage unusable by asking the cameraman ‘FEJN QIEGHED CHARLON GOUDER? JAQAW MAR MA’ XI QAHBA LI SERQITLU L-PORTMONI U SPICCA GHAND IL-PULIZIJA JAGHMEL RAPPORT?’

This threw the chickens into a frazzle.

They were dying to use it, to show how rude and arrogant I am, but they couldn’t exactly do so – especially not when Charlon Gouder himself was reading the news item in question. So the Super One headline was that I made a ‘xenata’ and insulted their cameraman – but then they bleeped the whole thing out except for the words ‘Charlon Gouder’.

I think it’s wrong that you should be deprived of knowing the exact nature of what was bleeped out, so here it is again: ‘FEJN QIEGHED CHARLON GOUDER? JAQAW MAR MA’ XI QAHBA LI SERQITLU L-PORTMONI U SPICCA GHAND IL-PULIZIJA JAGHMEL RAPPORT?’

What a bunch of pathetic prats.

49 Comments Comment

  1. Tony S says:

    Memories – and this is not coming from CATS musical:


  2. emanuel says:

    Kif jista jkun Daphne ma tiktibx fuqhom dawn in-nies meta tara dawn il-hnizrijiet min One News. Nispera li il-qorti tkun FAIR f’din il-kawza. Fl-awla ghandek ic-cans li taghmel xalata u zgur li se tiehu hafna hin waqt li tkun qeda tixhed. Kuragg.

    • jowsef says:

      Anzi kieku jien D, meta nirbah il-kawza nifthilhom ohra tal-hin li hlewlha. Illum il-hin iffisser flus. Ghadhom ma jafux ma liema hajt qed ihabbtu rashom.

  3. Gahan says:

    Mur gibhom fil-gvern! Prosit ghalik hej, kemm taf tpoggi l-kliem! Forsi nizel Strada Stretta.

  4. Luigi says:

    So Ronnie was there? Kemm hu patetiku dak ir-ragel. I think he didn’t find a lad that’s why he ended up there. I’m sure he would exchange a lad for your hearing.

  5. pat says:

    Consie bid-dublett tal-“ginns” giet? Jew bis “sjiut”? Apparti ic-cajt imma, kemm nixtieq li rajthkom both in the same room biex nara b’ liema mod kellha il-wicc thares lejk. Ghax veru tal-misthijja din il-bicca tax-xoghol.

    [Daphne – Ma deheritx.]

  6. JC says:

    Charlon Gouder reports loss of revenue to the police. Did he imagine that kind of service comes for free?

  7. Rover says:

    Poor Charlon didn’t know what hit him. Albert Town is just about the right place for this sad excuse of a journalist.

  8. Luigi says:

    I think Charlon protested because he knows law, considering that he failed constitutional law.

  9. Sandro says:

    Ma rridux zibel fil-qrati taghna.

  10. Leonard says:

    “Charlon Gouder came up and actually towed her away by the arm, and the policewoman went off with him beaming.”

    Until she realized her portmoni was missing.

  11. Triza says:

    “Meanwhile, an entire news crew from Super One – cameraman, photographer, reporters – camped out outside the law courts for almost three hours, waiting for me to enter and then waiting for me to exit.”

    So THAT’s why the camerman ended up with sweat patches under his arms …

  12. davis says:

    This woman is a national hero…the more I read her…the more I love her.

    We want Consie to resign!

    • Grezz says:

      I’m sure you echo the words of many.

      This has been turned into some anti-Daphne campaign by certain sections of the media. Odd, isn’t it? One would have thought that any reporter worth his salt would want to delve deeper into the situation, rather than try to attack Daphne. (Because the latter is, after all, what they are doing.)

  13. Carmel Said says:

    The more time passes, the more pathetic these people are turning out to be. And they expect to run the country in three years time. Alla jilliberana…..

  14. Sliema Girl says:

    giddieba tas sena; jien smajtek titkellem, mhux hekk qedt.

    Ma tafx kemm nafu.
    nafu hafna…
    bhalma taf int.

    Miskina Daphne.

    [Daphne – Look here, Pia Micallef from Maltastar. Stop posting your ridiculous comments, which I delete, or I’m going to have to ring your mother (if you have one) and let her know what you’re up to. And how do I know it’s you? Ah, now that would be telling. But I’ll let you into a little secret: I’m smarter with the internet than you think, and you have left a cyber-trail. You weren’t with the cameraman, unless you were heavily disguised as a squat man with patches of sweat beneath his arms. Now run along, get a university degree – I’m told you messed up there – and then somebody other than the Labour Party might give you a job.]

    • Arnold P says:

      Ha Ha Ha kif wahhlitulek, Pia. Imma x’wicc bla zejt ghandkom kemm hu xieref biex ma tisthux taqghu daqshekk fil-baxx. Veru li fl-istalla tal-One hemm partita zibel imma mill-iktar zibel.

      U meta tqis li One huwa mmexxi minn Jason Micallef li gie mtajjar minn sidu stess minn segretarju-generali, allura m’hemmx iktar fejn tmur. U meta wiehed jikkonsidra “iz-zwiemel” lil hemm f’din l-istalla, u meta nafu li l-attitudini ta’ Charlon Gouder kien wiehed mill-protagonisti tat-telfa Laburista, allura nieqaf hemm.

      • Joe Vella says:

        Arnold P, zgur li “zwiemel” hemm fl’istalla tal One, u mhux “hmir”?

  15. Michael A. Vella says:

    What these media jerks and their ilk fail to see is that it is not Daphne who is really on trial here, but the (mis)conduct of the magistrate concerned.

    The justice system has been marshalled in an attempt to stifle the right of freedom of speech that, among other things, the law courts are purportedly there to protect.

    This case highlights the current sorry state of the judiciary as a whole. It is but the latest episode in a saga that, in the space of a few short years, has seen one magistrate subjected to a motion of impeachment in parliament that failed only on politically partisan grounds; one judge subjected to another failed impeachment attempt for consistently failing to fulfil his duties on grounds of conscientious objection, but apparently without any twinge of conscience at all in drawing his full salary and attendant perks at cost to the taxpayer; one judge and a magistrate who currently stand in contravention of their code of ethics and subject to discipline by the Commission for the Administration of Justice, a chief justice and a senior judge convicted of taking bribes to pervert the course of justice, for which they were imprisoned, and two magistrates rumoured to be somewhat less than teetotal. That makes no less than 12% of the entire judiciary. This has seriously muddied a once universally respected system of justice.

    And it is this situation that should be the concern not only of the media which have been so strangely silent on these matters but, even more so, of the people as a whole.

    • maryanne says:

      A case in point is the matter of prior restraint which has been raised i.e. if I understood correctly. In the democratic world, a ruling in favour of prior restraint is equated to censorship. It is fiercely resisted and hardly ever resorted to. I hope the magistrate won’t go down that road next Monday. Who is going to judge whether something which has not yet been published is defamatory or libellious?

      • erskinemay says:

        Frankly, I don’t see where the question of prior restraint has been raised previously. In any case, where prior restraint may in some jurisdictions be the rule, in democratic countries it is the exception – indeed, the very exception. This rule prohibiting prior restraint in democratic countries is not absolute and therefore may be exercised in the interests if public safety and national security. Severe limitations however are placed upon the State, mechanisms which are revised by the Courts thereby placing a check on what would be an unfettered and unbridled right by the State to seriously encroach upon freedom of expression.

        Typically, in those instances where prior restraint can be applied, albeit restrictedly, the mechanism employed is that of a warrant of prohibitory injunction (mandat ta’ inibizzjoni) requesting the ban on the publication of the item in question and the reason wherefore such a ban is being requested. The respondent will then have a right to submit an application stating the reasons for which the warrant should be revoked. At this point the parties are usually heard, and the judge will then decide whether such publication would produce the effects sanctioned by the law – the same judge incidentally, to answer reader’s question, who would decide on whether a writing is defamatory, slanderous or libellous in the case instituted for this purpose post ex facto.

        However, there are other jurisdictions, such as the UK, where prior restraint may be utilised if the offending publication consisting of lies, untruths and deceit would be such where actions under the law of libel or criminal slander would not suffice to stem the ill-effects produced upon publication.

        Similarly in Malta, prior restraint is exercised, albeit differently, for example when Courts order that the name of the accused not be published to protect the identity of children (as is frequently the case in instances of child abuse and molestation). This is sometimes referred to as a gag order and in more liberal jurisdictions has been found, on occasion, to have violated the right to freedom of expression.

    • Arnold P says:

      And you are not mentioning the fact that some of these judges and magistrates are using public property (chaffeur driven limousines) for their private errands. One even had the temerity to let his wife use this public vehicle when he was busy attending court.

      People have eyes to see and ears to hear. In this case, it is the magistrate who is in the dock and not Daphne. It was the magistrate who published her own photos on Facebook partying with her red friends and then has the temerity to judge other people of different political opinions as if nothing happened.

      This case is a waste of public funds. Go on Commissioner, protect the virginity of this shameful magistrate – that’s what she’s asking. RESIGN MAGISTRATE CONSUELO PILAR SCERRI HERRERA.

    • Hmmm says:

      The percentage is higher than 12% when compared to the current number (39) of judges and magistrates:

      15% excluding the last two you mention
      20.5% including those last two

      If Magistrate Scerri-Herrera case is taken into account, the total rises to 23%.

      That means the odds of a case being heard in a reliable, trustworthy and impartial court are 4:1 at best. If Scerri-Herrera’s case is included, the odds are down to 3:1.

      That’s not a bad record for such a small country.

  16. apg says:

    What a waste of taxpayers’ money this court case is. Leave DCG alone and get on with the ‘more’ serious work, starting with the existing back-log.

    • Hmmm says:

      Magistrate Scerri-Herrera’s lawyer claims that her complaint was filed as a private citizen.

      • Ponderosa says:

        Had she not been a magistrate, none of this would have happened. After all, if one is a magistrate, then one should behave as a magistrate should for twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, all year round.

        Publishing photos of oneself at a private party is, after all, making one’s behaviour public, even if one considers the event at which the photos were taken to be a private one.

  17. lowerkless says:

    Is it illogical to say that, in an indirect way, Daphne has already won the case?

    When recently, members of the Maltese judiciary were barred from having a Facebook account, was that not an indirect and tacit approval of what Ms Caruana Galizia had written on her blog about this subject?

    Oh and congratulations I didn’t know you were so eloquent in Maltese. It’s a pity that One TV chose to mute your words.

    • Tony Pace says:




      We are well aware that the police and some of the judiciary are ganging up on you, D. What is disgraceful is that people who should know better are sitting on the fence. Shame on them.

      Actually, in a perverse sort of way, I almost want tal-Labour to win the next elections. It’s the only way we seem to learn lessons in this country.

  18. jomar says:

    Daphne, are you sure Pia Micallef from Maltastar understands English?

    She wrote in Maltese and used a word which I never knew existed in the Maltese language.

    Did she mean ‘ghidt’ but instead misspelled it to ‘qedt’?

  19. Mario says:

    Nawguralhek li iggibha żewg fil-qorti ghalkemm ghandi d-dubji tieghi. Dawn bhal nies tal-biccieni li l-hin kollu jiggieldu bejniethom u ghandhom ghira bazwija ghal xulxin, imma fis-siegha tal-bzonn jinghaqdu izjed minn ahwa. Kappell ma jmeriex lil iehor, Daphne, u jekk qed tistenna gustizzja zgur mhux se tehoda minn hemm.

  20. Kelinu says:

    What ‘virginity’, Arnold P?

  21. S K says:

    These people are just too stupid for their own good! Keep fighting on, Daphne – the majority of people are with you! I just wish more people had the nerve to stand up to these bullies. We need more people like you.

  22. K Farrugia says:

    I am informed that the Constitutional exam results for first-year law students have been published. Does anyone know whether Charlon Gouder managed to pass his second re-sit? Maybe he’ll forfeit the wish of being called a “doctor” in the upcoming years. He clearly is another example of the mediocrity which reigns in the ONE newsroom.

  23. john says:

    Daphne, your lawyer is reported to have told the court that “There is nothing that the magistrate needed to be protected from.” He should have added, of course ‘other than from herself.’

  24. maryanne says:

    @erskinemay – Thank you for the above detailed explanation. Just one other question. What about the problem that the articles on internet will still be ‘stored’ as archives and are not deletable?

  25. kevin says:

    Correct me if I am wrong but has my comments posted this morning been removed from your part?

    [Daphne – I don’t know which comments, Kevin. Hundreds come in. There are always a few which have to be deleted for all sorts of reasons, but mainly libel or insults to third parties.]

  26. carlos says:

    It is marvelous how the wheels of our courts turn so quickly in this case. There are other cases that have been on the police’s shelves for ages. Was Berlusconi right when he called the Italian magistrates a bunch of talebani? What do we call ours?

  27. Frans Borg says:

    100% for entertainment value.

  28. Al Capone says:

    Issa din veru tajba ! Tas-Super One jew ahjar STUPID ONE, qed jirreferu ghal Daphne bhala Daphne Caruana Galizia, l-artikolista Nazzjonalista.

    Jekk ma taqbilx mac-cucati li jghidu, allura int Nazzjonalist. Dik filopsofija! Nahseb li San Pawl ha zball meta gie hawn.

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