The Malta Independent 13 December 2017, Wednesday

Mudslinging is easy, but removing its effects very difficult – Alfred Mifsud in libel case

Thursday, 12 October 2017, 13:04 Last update: about 3 months ago

The former partner of the Central Bank’s deputy governor made allegations about him to the police in 2006, but no criminal steps were ever taken, a court heard today.

Alfred Mifsud testified in court that it was only after the story by Daphne Caruana Galizia that the European System of Central Banks put great pressure on local authorities to investigate the allegations.

ADVERTISEMENT

Testifying before Magistrate Francesco Depasquale in a libel case against the blogger, Mifsud complained that “mud-slinging is easy, but removing its effects can prove very difficult”.

Mifsud explained that he had been particularly offended by the term ‘fixer’ used in relations to allegations that he had received cash from the representative of an American software company tasked with changing Mid-Med Bank's IT system during his stint as the bank’s chairman between 1996-1998.

He insisted that he had no idea that an acquaintance in his social circles was somehow involved with the American company. In fact, he had only discovered that members of Ronnie Demajo’s family were agents of the American software company when he came face to face with Joe Demajo at the signing of the contract, he explained.

Mifsud insisted that the whole story had stemmed from personal issues with his former partner Anna Zelbst, who had fed details to the blogger as a ‘personal vendetta’. He said that he had explained this to Ms Caruana Galizia when she had called him shortly before breaking the story.

Mifsud pointed out that the titles used were attention grabbers which often caused greatest impact upon readers.

Nothing appeared to have resulted from these investigations, concluded Mr Mifsud, stressing that the police must have given some form of clearance or reassurance to the authorities calling for his investigation.

Mifsud said the intention behind the articles was to make him miss out on his once-in-a-lifetime chance of being appointed to the post of Central Bank governor.

The case continues with the cross-examination of Mr Mifsud.

Lawyer Pawlu Lia assisted Mifsud and lawyer Joseph Zammit Maempel was counsel to Caruana Galizia.

 

  • don't miss