Luciano Busuttil denies using fake Facebook profile. Profile disappears immediately after I ring him about it.

Published: November 17, 2015 at 5:43pm

Last night I received information from a woman who told me that a couple of years ago, she began chatting on Facebook to a man calling himself Mark Abela. After they had been chatting for some time, he revealed himself to be married and also told her mysteriously that he is well known in Maltese politics. She therefore reached the obvious conclusion that Mark Abela was not his real name.

When she asked for further information, he told her these exact words: “Jien l-aktar wiehed ghajnejja sbieh fil-parlament“. (“I have the most beautiful eyes in parliament.”)

This woman told me that the mysterious member of parliament then invited her to his office in Hamrun. Her words were: “Wara l-Queens Pastizzerija, biex niehdu good time”. She said she then discovered that Mark Abela was Luciano Busuttil, though she failed to tell me whether she found out by turning up or by some other means.

So I went to the Facebook profile which she told me about, and it was clearly fake. The biggest give-away – as it always is with fake profiles – is that there is no personal information or photographs, and the profile picture is one picked out from the internet, of some stranger or model in some foreign land. In this case, it was a picture of a non-Maltese man in his 20s, with his defining facial feature being large blue eyes.

The publicly visible Timeline began in April 2013 and was a stream of posts about sex and blow-jobs, sexist remarks, vulgar innuendos, plaintive cries about loneliness and about being fed up of everything and everyone (to which women unable to recognise the classic midlife crisis promptly responded), and there among them all, just one piece of real, personal information, dated 27 May 2014: “IN CARDIFF”.

If it had been Paris, Rome, New York, Milan or London, I would have ignored it. But nobody goes to Cardiff for pleasure. They go for work, and even that rarely happens. So I ran an internet search on ‘Luciano Busuttil Cardiff’ and the only items to show up were about the 44th British Isles and Mediterranean Region Annual Conference 27-30 May 2014, at which Luciano Busuttil was a delegate and speaker.

I took screen shots of the entire Facebook Timeline and Likes section, having worked out that it would be a sensible precaution to do this before I rang Luciano Busuttil. With the exception of the more extreme vulgarities, these are uploaded below.

I then rang him, knowing full well that any man guilty as charged who is confronted with this kind of question from a journalist will react in exactly the same way as a man confronted with the same kind of question from his wife: deny it immediately and outright, but crucially, without asking for further information or details. I had also calculated that the profile would disappear immediately after our conversation.

Me: “I have evidence that you have been using a fake Facebook profile under the name of Mark Abela to chat to women.”

LB: “What? No. No.”

Me: “I didn’t say I have information. I said that I have evidence.”

LB: “Definitely not.”

Me: “I’m going to ask you one last time: are you Mark Abela?”

LB: “No, no.”

Me: “All right. Thank you.”

I allowed 10 minutes and then checked. The Facebook profile had disappeared.


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