Stop spinning for the Minister of the Economy

Published: April 24, 2017 at 1:00pm

This morning in the courthouse (I wasn’t there), my lawyers asked the court to order Malta’s mobile telephony companies to preserve the technical location records for any numbers used by the Minister of the Economy, Christian Cardona, and his person of trust, Joseph Gerada.

These records show exactly where you are when you make calls or text while you are ‘roaming’, down to the street.

Malta Today has spun this request in favour of the Economy Minister by reporting that after I said he was in a brothel in Velbert, I am “now seeking to establish Cardona’s whereabouts on January 30”.

Malta Today – or rather, its 50% owner – has already made it plain that it believes the disreputable Economy Minister (as one would, given his sound reliability and track record) and not me. It ignores the fact that the man who rang me from the brothel to tell me that Cardona was there with a bald man – who turned out to be Gerada – is somebody I know. And when he rang, Gerada and Cardona were right there in their white bathrobes.

Of course I am not seeking to establish Cardona’s whereabouts. I am seeking to prove them. In libel suits, it is the defendant who has to bring proof, and not the plaintiff – a reversal of the usual situation with the burden of proof.

Malta Today, being a newspaper which faces a large number of libel suits, knows this better than most, so its misreporting is simply a malicious attempt to discredit me. This is more obvious when you read the full sentence:

With a nation gripped by allegations that the Prime Minister’s wife is directly involved in an offshore company, whose existence was revealed in the Panama Papers, Caruana Galizia is now seeking to establish Cardona’s whereabouts on January 30.

In other words, they’re saying that I didn’t know where Cardona was when I reported he was in the Velbert brothel, which means that I don’t know whether Mrs Muscat has a company in Panama even though I reported it.

These constant attempts at trying to discredit other journalists – those who work for the Labour Party are automatically discredited, so I don’t include them – have got to stop. We are all supposed to be on the same side: not fighting each other, but fighting the rampant corruption and abuse that have the island where we all live in a vice-like grip.