The Malta Independent 21 February 2019, Thursday

Updated: Any criminal action against Pierre Portelli would be frame-up – Karol Aquilina

Friday, 27 July 2018, 11:24 Last update: about 8 months ago

Any criminal action against the executive chairman of Media.link would be a clear case of a frame-up, Nationalist MP Karol Aquilina said.

This would not only be an injustice, but a parody of justice, he wrote on his Facebook post.

Aquilina was referring to reports indicating that the Prime Minister is considering taking action against people who are mentioned in the Egrant magisterial inquiry. Portelli had submitted documents to the magistrate which, it has now been concluded, were fake. Portelli has insisted that he was acting as a journalist and, once in possession of the documents, had no other option but to submit them to the magistrate.

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Aquilina said that Portelli acted as a journalist, asked questions and put himself at the disposition of the inquiring magistrate. He did this with personal risks to himself and his family, Aquilina said, expressing his support to Portelli.

This move may be the first sign of bridge-building between two factions within the Nationalist Party, as Aquilina is openly supporting former leader Simon Busuttil after new leader Adrian Delia requested Busuttil to suspend himself from the parliamentary group after the Egrant conclusions. Portelli is known to be a close aide to Delia.

Other MPs who earlier in the week expressed support for Busuttil have also expressed their solidarity with Portelli. Busuttil also expressed his solidarity in a tweet.

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