The Malta Independent 2 March 2021, Tuesday

PL deputy leader Toni Abela loses his cool over 'blokka bajda' jibe

Duncan Barry Monday, 6 July 2015, 13:56 Last update: about 7 years ago

Labour Party deputy leader Toni Abela lost his cool in court today after the lawyer representing blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia – Joe Zammit Maempel - passed a remark to Dr Abela on the ‘blokka bajda’ saga.

Dr Abela was testifying in court in a libel case he filed against Mrs Caruana Galizia why he took offence for a post which described Dr Abela, among other persons, as being crassly incompetent and a clown. The blog was posted in August 2008 soon after the Labour Party had elected its party officials.

The blog carried the headline ‘Ajma x’biza, an earthquake warning, hej’. The paragraph Dr Abela seems to have taken offence over read: ‘Joseph Muscat gave another ‘earthquake warning’ in his usual column in The Times, yesterday. He’s unhappy with the party system that elects clowns, idiots and incompetents to key roles – except where he is concerned, of course. The people who elected Toni Abela, Anglu Farrugia and Jason Micallef also elected him, but he obviously fails to see the connection and that he’s part of the joke. In his own way, he is as crassly incompetent as the rest of them’.

At one point, Dr Abela referred to the alleged case involving Mrs Caruana Galizia for her alleged failure to declare income on a number of magazines she produced and on another case involving Mrs Caruana Galizia’s husband. This sparked Mrs Caruana Galizia's lawyer to tell Dr Abela: “Are you the one to talk, you cannot tell the difference between a block of ice and a block of white powder?”

This remark angered Dr Abela who said: “You should be ashamed of yourself for passing such a snide remark. They killed my father with those block of ice claims,” Dr Abela said.

"PN whip David Agius and the then Prime Minister had colluded with each other to emerge with such claims,” he continued. This led to Magistrate Francesco Depasquale ordering the case to be deferred following which Dr Abela walked out of the courtroom.

The block of ice issue had started after the PN had said that the Labour deputy leader knew about a drug case which led to the sacking of a man who ran a Labour club bar. The PN had leaked a set of recordings in which Dr Abela was heard speaking about an incident where the president of a Labour Party club was sacked after he allegedly disposed of a block of white powder.

In the recording, Dr Abela implied that he did not go to the police station because it would get the club's president in trouble. In a statement soon after the recording was released, Dr Muscat had said that the main point which came out of the recording was that Dr Abela had acted upon a suspicion of abuse when other people did not want to give evidence on what they saw.

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