A report from the days when Malta Today was a proper newspaper

Published: September 10, 2011 at 12:23am

The photograph shows Lorry Sant’s chief henchman Ronnie Pellegrini, who today is seconded to the Labour Party from the General Workers Union, and who has been given a desk and an office at Mile End by Joseph Muscat.

Read the story below.

It is no coincidence that he remains a great friend of the Herrera family, that he is one of Consuelo Herrera’s most intimate familiars, or that he turned up with Jason Micallef to support her in court.


7 April 2002


Lino Cauchi’s brutal and cruel murder remains shrouded in mystery but investigations carried out by MaltaToday over recent weeks have progressively lent credibility to one side of the allegations.

These hover around incidents that took place in the turbulent days of a late seventies and eighties involving the sale of large tracts of land today worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Today this newspaper is publishing the shocking evidence given by Joseph Borg before Inquiring Magistrate Silvio Meli late last year. This contrasts greatly with the version of events given by Piju Camilleri the former Labour thug and Lorry Sant henchman in the same inquiry.

Joseph Borg, known for maintaining a fighting spirit when his wife died not long after a bomb was placed outside his home, was instrumental in confirming the corruption that pervaded under a Labour government in the late seventies and early eighties.

His evidence finally led to the suspension of Lorry Sant from the Labour party after incriminating evidence was presented in court.

Excerpts of Joseph Borg’s evidence, also published last week, reveal how he alleges that in 1985 the late Justice Herrera had put undue pressure on him to reach an agreement with Piju Camilleri over pending court cases. But these were denounced as false by the judge’s children, Jose Herrera and Consuelo Herrera.

In a letter sent to this newspaper Labour MP Jose Herrera and Magistrate Consuelo Scerri Herrera (see page 9) reiterate that their father had been acquitted of all the allegations by the Permanent Commission Against Corruption, which had investigated the case.

Borg also alleges that Judge Herrera was given building permits in a green area in Zejtun soon after the alleged threat took place in the courtroom. Justice Herrera had defended himself by saying that he had applied for the permits on behalf of his wife’s family who owned the property.

The conclusions of the Permanent Commission against Corruption, presided over by Justice Victor Borg Costanzi, state that “there is no evidence to show that Judge Herrera was involved in any act of corruption in the occasion of the issuing of building permits”.

But the Commission’s report confirms that the late Justice Herrera did confide to a prominent lawyer that Lorry Sant would arrange for him to have permits for development.

The Commission did not stop here. It concluded that permits for the property owned by Justice Herrera could only have been issued by works minister Lorry Sant himself.

The Commission’s report also concludes that “Joseph Borg, a person who was very attentive because of what he had suffered, could have, from his position, genuinely formed an opinion that the Judge was involved in an act of corruption”.

However, further investigations by this newspaper reveal that the Herreras’ were not at all out of touch with the property business as stated by Justice Herrera in a number of statements.

Company documents in MaltaToday’s possession show that in 1990 Dr Joseph Herrera was appointed as a director to a property company in which his son Jose Herrera was also a shareholder. Another judge who now faces serious allegations of fraud also had an indirect interest in the property company, which had taken a substantial loan in 1987 to acquire a large villa in Sliema.

12 Comments Comment

  1. Daphne Caruana Galizia says:

    Read more, and weep for the sordid mess that Malta Today has become (among other causes for despair):


  2. Carmelo Micallef says:

    Daphne, isn’t the decrepit Malta Today a reflection of our society?

    How easily sections of our society sink to the lowest common denominator – the pleasure taken by some in our society in the wrongs they have openly committed.

    They challenge all good Maltese people.

    This is countered by people like you, who stand up and speak the truth – and, most unusally in Malta, you quote names.

    There must be times when you feel very much alone. You are not alone!

    • dudu says:

      In Joseph Muscat’s party, I see shades of Berlusconi’s and the army of ‘affaristi’ (speculators) who surround it – an emphasis on image and high-minded talk to conceal the ugly characters that it is made up of.

  3. Carmelo Micallef says:

    Ronnie Pelligrini on one side of Little Joe and Anglu Farrugia on the other – and there can be no doubt about the ‘progressive’ credentials of the Labour Party.

    Daphne, does this mean that when Little Joe wants to call out the ‘soldiers of steel’ for a progressive activity he does not need to even make a phone call but merely shouts across the office?

    How proud Lorry Sant must be, and Dom Mintoff and KMB – the rehabilitation of Mintoffian policies and actions keeps moving on. Poor Malta.

  4. RF says:

    Noel Arrigo out today:
    Spent 22 of 33 months and not a day at Corradino. Judiciary system in Malta really going to the dogs.

  5. Richard Borg says:

    Why did this happen? As in, why has Malta Today come to what it is?

    I remember reading about the BICAL scandal amongst other interesting articles around that time. It provided for a source of investigative journalism which I believe is completely lost today.

    Not only in Malta Today’s case. Journalism in Malta is in somewhat of a sordid state. No real questions being asked, and of course, none answered.

    • 'Angus Black says:

      The portals of scandals such as the BICAL have long disappeared from Malta Today, but luckily I had printed the articles before the sudden conversion of this rag.

  6. Jozef says:

    Agreed dudu,

    There is an uncanny parallelism between Silvio’s obsession with the judiciary and Labour’s blurred vision when it comes to separation of powers.

    As for conflicts of interest, the use of the media, and befriending Ms sitting across the floor, Labour’s in total sync.

    Xenophobic, populistic, condescending, contradictory, attention-seeking, creative with legality, allergic to authority as an abstract idea and plain materialistic.

    A cynical ploy to alienate public opinion from the real motive.

  7. 'Angus Black says:

    Old habits die hard.

    It’s good that most air-raid shelters are being cleaned out and made accessible.

    We sure would need them to take cover if this kind of sleaze is elected in 2013.

  8. Lomax says:

    I echo what Richard Borg said: why has Malta Today become like this? What happened? Is it because subsequently Lawrence Gonzi took the helm of the party and the country? And, my million-dollar question: why does Saviour Balzan hate Gonzi so much?

  9. D Kiss says:

    He is John Dalli’s servant.

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