The Law Commissioner: a disgraceful slur on the good name, integrity and judgement of those who voted Labour

Published: August 19, 2013 at 2:08pm

Franco Debono

The Law Commissioner has for some time now occupied himself with uploading slander and libel against me, my husband and various members of our family, including our children, on his blog.

Appeals to reason have failed. Given that over the last few days this libel and slander have escalated, and have become increasingly atrocious in content, and given also that this is Malta’s Law Commissioner we are talking about, and not any old Tom, Dick or Harry, he now faces:

1. a formal complaint against him for conduct unbecoming to a Law Commmissioner/criminal behaviour, lodged with the parliamentary secretary for justice, Owen Bonnici, who appointed him and to whom he is answerable;

2. a formal complaint against him in his capacity as a practising lawyer/Law Commissioner, lodged with the Commission for the Administration of Justice, the competent body for examining the behaviour of law professionals;

3. a formal complaint against him for abuse of electronic means of communication to defame others, under Chapter 399 of the Laws of Malta (Electronic Communications Regulation Act), lodged with the Communications Authority and the Police Commissioner;

4. a formal complaint against him for criminal defamation, under the Criminal Code, lodged with the Police Commissioner;

5. a civil suit for libel filed in the Civil Court.

We have to stop treating this behaviour as normal, or standing by while democracy degenerates. It is obvious why this is being done: to bully and harass me into silence and submission, by the use of lies, slander, and grievous and unwarranted insults levelled against me and those private citizens who are my family.

It is a public onslaught on a critical journalist, and because the offender here is Law Commissioner and Chief of Constitutional Reform, it is also an official onslaught. By failing to instruct its Law Commissioner and Constitutional Reform chief to cease and desist from this disgraceful, criminal behaviour, the government is complicit. By then the government appointed him in the first place, knowing already that this is what he is capable of doing.

57 Comments Comment

  1. Mr Meritocracy says:

    I’m sure Franco’s behaviour would not qualify as ‘cyber-bullying’ or ‘cyber-harassment’ under Jeffrey’s space cake act.

  2. Not Sandy:P says:

    He’s doing a Houdini wash. Comments are disappearing from his blog.

    [Daphne – Too late. I took the precaution of printing them all out before I uploaded this post.]

  3. CIS says:

    He should know better being a lawyer, although he is as slippery as an eel. He will find a corner window from where to pass. Let’s see what he comes up with. One of his reasons will surely be the clique.

    [Daphne – Yes, the real clique in power right now, who will protect him in his criminal actions.]

  4. Wasn't me says:

    Franco you’re better off posting your insults to Daphne and her family here because nobody reads your blog anyway.

  5. Makjavel says:

    Daphne, the advice given by lawyers in such cases is to claim temporary insanity or depression.

    [Daphne – Yes, that’s the advice that Anglu Farrugia, now speaker of the house, gave to his client Dr Lawrence Galea, who had been seen driving around the university campus and scattering shockingly slanderous homemade flyers about me from the window of his car. It didn’t work. He got a three-and-a-half-month prison term. This is Lawrence Galea the racist, forever posting disgusting anti-African and racist comments on the internet.]

    • Not Sandy:P says:

      Going by the evidence, Franco Debono must be acquainted with several individuals who are temporarily insane and/or depressed.

      Or maybe just one who suffers from multiple personality disorder.

      • Two weights two measures says:

        @ Not Sandy:P

        Before writing this comment, did you recognise that the contents are libellous?

        [Daphne – It is not libellous to say that Franco Debono knows people who have mental disorders. Most people know at least one or two, given that half the population seems to be on anti-depressants or similar treatment.]

    • Futur mill-aghar says:

      Makjavel, unfortunately there’s nothing temporary about it.

    • MojoMalti says:

      I say future law students will be learning about a novel line of defence called Post Marrakech Syndrome.

    • Guzi says:

      Is he the same Lawrence J.M. Galea who is infesting the Times online with his comments?

      [Daphne – The very same.]

  6. P Shaw says:

    Do you think that these official complaints work? We are talking of a prime minister that is even more shallow than the Law Commissioner, who is probably privately amusing himslef and enabling him, so as not to appear as harassing you himslef.

    Muscat has found the two perfect stooges to harass you, given that he is not in a position to do it himslef in person.

    [Daphne – Whether they ‘work’ or not is irrelevant. They are a statement of action and a reminder that I, for one, refuse to take abnormality as normal or give in to bullying and intimidatory tactics. Nor should anyone else. We should have had enough of that extended experience already.]

    • albona says:

      Good on you Daphne. It is people like you who are high-profile who need to take on these injustices. Us little fish end up just being boxed into a corner. Malta needs another 50 or so journalists like you who are ready to stick their necks out for freedom of speech and democracy. Good work.

  7. Lorry says:

    Prosit, Daphne, you have our full support.

  8. J says:

    This is good news for Maltese democracy and the Maltese legal profession.

    Thank you, Daphne (although I really shouldn’t give a proverbial given that I’m far, far away from that intellectual and moral cesspit).

    However, the title is far too kind. How can this be a slur on people who (i) knew Franco to be batshit crazy (and possibly altered, so to speak) but kept saying ‘imma ghandu ragun fuq X’, (ii) knew Joseph Muscat to be an opportunistic liar but kept saying that the Nationalists were corrupt, (iii) agreed with the substance of pretty much everything you said, but – in an Olympian logical leap – voted against the PN because they couldn’t take your style (“Maaaa, she’s such a bitch. How can you agree with her? As if!”)?

    No, Daphne, many of those who voted Labour are a disgraceful slur on democracy, logic, morality…

    Now where’s Simon? And why does the PN look pretty much exactly as it did a few months ago, without the safe pair of hands?

    • Manuel says:

      One more reason why the Opposition should refuse to work with this make-believe hero of democracy on law reforms. Wake up, PN!

  9. Manuel says:

    This is the same person who when in Parliament (I am sure he misses the old days when he was protected by Parliamentry immunity) presented a complaint to the Chair against three people – “commoners” unlike himself – who according to him slandered him on Incredible. Is he, by any chance, supporting his delusional friend’s war on cyber bullying? Qeghdin sew!

  10. Il-Kajboj says:

    Lawrence Gonzi should publish all the SMSes he got from Franco Debono.

    This is not something private. The public have a right to know what sort of man has been put in charge of reforming the laws of Malta and its Constitution.

    It is in the public interest to know how a public office holder treated the Prime Minister of the country.

    • Vespa says:

      He held public office also at the time.

      He was a Member of Parliament and also a Parliamentary Assistant assigned with the Office of the Prime Minister.

      To add insult to injury Prime Minister Gonzi kept him there till the very end. Par idejn sodi indeed.

  11. Jozef says:

    Another one who can’t walk into Pieta’ demanding your head.

    There’s a fine line between what he’s doing and what renders this blog unassailable.

    It’s called refinement. Try as they might, it’s never beyond the next step with them. Then they’ll go berserk and expect the final say.

    [Daphne – It’s not a fine line. There is the not-so-small matter of facts, upon which all opinion must be based. There is the other not-so-small matter that where private citizens are concerned, it is a criminal offence even to discuss facts (let alone lies).]

    And these would be fitting of the country’s democratic institutions. Supposedly inspirational leaders, in reality a catalogue of reflected personal misgivings.

    Truly inferior if they’re what they do. It’s politically correct to demand better and expose the limits.

    • Jozef says:

      I haven’t seen what he wrote and have no intention, even because he’s taking them down. Typical.

      How he manages to lose it is objectively worrying.

      This individual being responsible for our country’s laws, I shudder to think how he’ll forego universal principle and render this state his delusional ‘order’.

      With a population barely past secondary education and an innate thirst for spite, he’s in a position to poison spirits.

      That it happens under a claimed left has to be the continent’s anomaly. And this is where the PN needs to start. Il-‘maggoranza’ was just that, a moderate way forward. Which it was, since 1981.

      • La Redoute says:

        There are people with a university education who fail to see the consequences of Muscat’s decizjonijet skifuzi, or who willfully ignore them. I can think of at least three lawyers who see nothing wrong in Debno’s behaviour.

        Formal education, or lack of it, is not the only problem.

  12. Dave says:

    About time.

  13. Joe Micallef says:

    It boils down to deciding whether Franco Debono is stupid, madly arrogant to the point where he thinks the law does not apply to him, or insane – any way that goes, he is unfit both as a Law Commissioner and a lawyer.

  14. Bubu says:

    Can’t we get the professional opinion of a shrink? I think a mental health professional would be the most qualified person to rule in this case.

    • catherine says:

      Surely the opinion of a shrink is only valued in situations where behaviour within the range of normality is also valued in the first place?

      Malta’s become full of raging lunatics. So it would be a bit like taking a nutritionist to McDonald’s to pass judgement on the burgers, that’s the standard, and the standard is that there are no standards.

  15. ciccio says:

    Shame on the Law Commissioner.

    Franco Debono is totally unsuited for this position.

  16. George says:

    Aye! to Daphne. Must have hit him under the belt with a fistful of truth. His slanderous vengeful reaction exposes him even further as the unworthy cheap man he actually is.

  17. Neil says:

    Franco Debono’s comeuppance is long, long overdue. He has now committed serious slander.

    Did he imagine that as the comments HE HIMSELF PUBLISHED were largely from other people, or so he would have us believe, then he would be exempt from any responsibility? IS he seriously that thick or unfamiliar with the law?

    This might just turn out to be the catalyst to a deserved and public downfall (we live in hope), but we all know it’s about so much more than that.

    This sleazy character caused irrevocable damage to the previous government, both on administrative and personal levels. Damage on a national/international level through his reckless, egoistic actions may yet become apparent.

    However, all it took was his own iced bun, to shut his big mouth in the face of rampant abuses occurring on a daily basis by his Labour friends.

    He is a traitor to his country, and for this alone he should be unceremoniously dumped, never to grace the public arena again.

  18. Francis Saliba MD says:

    Let us hope that Franco Debono will not be given a back dated “waiver” from observing the criminal law as well as as the ethics of decent gentlemanly behaviour in a civilised society.

  19. tina says:

    Joseph Muscat’s government feel comfortable in associating with Franco Debono, JPO, and Charles iz-Zambi, the man who got 14 years in jail for stabbing the prime minister’s personal assistant, Richard Cachia Caruana.

    Where are the PN and the free press, sunbathing and swimming?

  20. TinaB says:

    Prosit, Daphne, you are doing the right thing – I am sure that you have the full support of many.

    The Prime Minister should hang his head in shame for not firing Franco Debono and his friend, Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando – they do not deserve the positions they hold, in the first place.

  21. ron says:

    Mela ghadu ma telaqx lejn l-Italja dan? Jien lest li nhallaslu l-passagg, b’kundizzjoni wahda – one way ticket u ma jergax jigi lura.

  22. Francis Saliba MD says:

    It beats me how any decent person would have the cast-iron stomach to serve on any commission chaired by this kind of commissioner.

  23. ‘The truth of it is, learning, like travelling and all other methods of improvement, as it finishes good sense, so it makes a silly man ten thousand times more insufferable, by supplying variety of impertinence, and giving him an opportunity of abounding in absurdities’ – Joseph Addison.

  24. Natalie Mallett says:

    I would not have noticed what he wrote as I stopped reading his blog the minute I realised this man is evil. Daphne I am glad you are calling his bluff and give you my full support.

  25. Disillusioned says:

    Simon Busuttil is busy attending one festa after another. It’s all very well to do so and be seen at such local activities but to upload photos on Facebook of each and every festa loses any possible impact and worse still, to be seen to be doing little else is another thing altogether.

    I hope the silence simply means that he is rebuilding the party and simply letting the government get tangled in its mess.

    If so I hope he gets his act together fast because ths government is going to sink us faster than any of us ever envisaged.

  26. Tracy says:

    Mhux bil-fors kulhadd qed jaghmel li jrid?

    Meta Muscat jigi mistoqsi mill-gurnalisti dwar xi agir irrisoonsabbli minn dawk ta’ tahtu, dejjem jara kif igib skuza u jiddifendihom, sahansitra jdawwar l-agir hazin fuq min ikun il-vittma.

  27. joe says:

    Honestly, i thought that Joseph Muscat will do better rather than exalting people like Franco Debono. He had got what he wanted out of him already. He could have just slammed the door in his face and had nothing further to do with him.

    But he didn’t, and now what.

    Qed ihammeg lil prim ministru u l-Partit Laburista.

    • Jo says:

      Thank you Daphne for your being you. Good luck. You should be given “Gieh ir-Repubblika” for all the fine work you’re doing. May your example fire others to do the same.

  28. Sufa says:

    A blogpost full of untruths and slanderous comments about you and various members of your family was online – on Franco Debono’s blog – until an hour or so ago. It has since been removed.

  29. AE says:

    Good for you. You are single handedly taking these megalomaniacs to task. The post has disappeared from Frankie’s blog. Looks like he ran scared just like one of his chickens.

  30. janni says:

    I am four-square with you, Daphne – don’t let this dustbin intimidate you.

  31. hopeful says:

    Franco Debono has the backing of the regime. What is amazing is how people are willing to work with this type of man.

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