Christian Kalin of Henley & Partners knew back in March that the general election was imminent

Published: May 12, 2017 at 3:19pm

Christian Kalin, Chairman and CEO of Henley & Partners, has just responded to this email I sent earlier.

We are equally annoyed at your way of constantly publishing wrong and defamatory posts on your blog.  
I am sure a lot of people in Malta are also annoyed about that as it actually impacts the international image of your beautiful country negatively as these posts are read all over the world. Have you ever thought about what people outside Malta will think?
It is quite amazing to see that you even just simply post direct correspondence like this.
As we said before, and I will reiterate this here, we have never paid any politicians anything, and therefore if you continue to insinuate this, it will actually even amount to a criminal offence in several countries where your blog may be read. It would really be better that you refrain from making such statements that are wrong and highly defamatory.
As of course I also stated before, everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion about the Malta IIP or the concept of Citizenship-by-Investment programs, and its merits, but we are, as you also know, a professional services firm focused on this business and work in the interest of the countries we serve, as in this case in Malta where we do our best to make the IIP as successful as possible, according to our contract, and we will continue to do so.
I would like to ask you once again politely to remove any defamatory and incorrect statements on your blog about us, as was outlined in detail by our lawyers to make it easier for you to identify those posts that are legally relevant.
In summary, what we are asking is actually only that you adhere to the principles of good journalism.
Thank you,


My reply is beneath.


I do not appreciate lectures in journalism from somebody whose business it is to sell passports to people who, for reasons that are best not examined too closely, cannot use the one to which they are entitled by birth. Nor do I appreciate any such lectures from individuals who are accustomed to operating in non-democratic environments.

As I have pointed out to your lawyers in London already, it is not sufficient to order me to remove something on the grounds that it is defamatory. They must also explain why it is defamatory, point to the precise statement instead of making a blanket demand, and following that I have to agree that it is indeed libellous.

Your lawyers are well aware that erroneous information and defamatory statements are two completely different things and that an error of fact does not necessarily constitute libel. An error of fact is dealt with by means of a request for correction and not a threat of libel, for which there is no basis at law.

You may be unaware that under Maltese law you have just one year from the date of publication in which you may sue for libel. After that, the matter is time-barred and you cannot sue.

I have been civilised enough to remove readers’ comments from as far back as three years ago when you considered them deeply offensive to your organisation, which you view as a respectable one with a good reputation to defend (a view, incidentally, which I do not share). I could have refused and ignored your requests completely on the perfectly reasonable grounds that you have no case because of time-barring, but I didn’t.

You now have your lawyers snapping at my heels to remove readers’ comments that are two and three years old. I am not obliged to do so in any shape or form, because you have missed the time-window which allows you make that request and then to sue if it is not met.

If you wish to make complete and utter fools of yourselves by retaining Mishcon de Reya to sue, in London, a journalist in Malta for comments left by third parties on the comments-board of her website, go ahead and good luck with that.

I asked you specifically when we met why, after three to four years of silence, you are suddenly coming at me with lawyers, and your response was: “Because an election is coming.” You cannot now claim that it is because readers’ comments on my website are damaging your business. If that were the case, you would have reacted earlier. As you yourself said in our meeting, it is the election that is bothering you.

When we met on 2nd April, I did not understand the significance of your remark that “an election is coming” because in my mind the general election was months away and I could not understand why you had suddenly sprung into action. I now realise, with the full benefit of hindsight and all that has transpired since, that when I received the first communication from Henley & Partners out of the blue around 20th March, it was because you knew, unlike the rest of us, that a general election was imminent – hence your comment to me on 2nd April that you are acting now “because an election is coming”.

You may not bankroll Joseph Muscat’s party but clearly you have a close enough business relationship – selling passports is a business – for him to have felt it necessary to inform you that he would be calling the election in May or June.

I’m afraid that we in Malta cannot see the back of Henley & Partners soon enough, whatever the impression you may have been given by the alacrity of certain corporate services providers to jump on your bandwagon and help you flog Maltese citizenship to eastern potentates, including a Chinese aluminium billionaire on Forbes list who is registered to a first-time-buyer’s tiny flat in a side street in the village of Naxxar.

Daphne Caruana Galizia

Christian Kalin (right) with Joseph Muscat and Keith Schembri (centre). Schembri is now the subject of a magistrate’s inquiry following a report by the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit, which the police covered up, that he took kickbacks from the sale of passports to Russians, through corrupt accountant Brian Tonna.