The Malta Independent 25 June 2019, Tuesday

Economy Minister Chris Cardona misses deadline to reinstate brothelgate libel case

Monday, 3 September 2018, 21:49 Last update: about 11 months ago

Economy minister Chris Cardona has missed the deadline to restore libel proceedings against Daphne Caruana Galizia over brothelgate, Matthew Caruana Galizia, son of the assassinated journalist, posted on Facebook.

“Last Friday was the deadline for Chris Cardona to file an application to restart the libel case against my mother. He let the deadline pass and will now have to pay all our legal costs,” Matthew Caruana Galizia said.

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In January 2017 Daphne Caruana Galizia had accused the minister, as well as his aide Joe Gerada, of visiting a brothel in Germany while there on government business, an accusation which both men denied.

The two libel cases filed by Economy Minister Chris Cardona against Caruana Galizia over the infamous FKK Acapulco claims were unexpectedly cancelled, as the Caruana Galizia lawyers asked the court to cancel it due to the minister not appearing in court to testify on a number of occasions.

Cardona at the time did not rule out reinstituting the libel cases against Caruana Galizia’s heirs after the court ruled that they be dropped. The cases can be restored by means of an application filed by the plaintiff, Cardona, within three months of cancellation. Cardona had said at the time that his legal team was considering its options. He had told MaltaToday, “It appears that Daphne Caruana Galizia’s heirs are not in Malta so these are the circumstance we must evaluate [the situation] as a legal team and we will take it from there.” The time period for him to reconsider, however, expired on 31 August, and the minister has decided not to contest the allegations through a libel case.

Sources within the legal profession confirmed that given the minister did not reinstate the case, he would need to pay the costs of the case.

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