The Malta Independent 24 September 2021, Friday

Updated: Court refuses PM’s request to hear libel cases with urgency

Tuesday, 25 April 2017, 12:53 Last update: about 5 years ago

The court presided by Magistrate Francesco Depasquale has turned down a request made by the Prime Minister Joseph Muscat for libel cases he instituted against blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia, the Department of Information said. 

The reason given by the magistrate is that it is "tied up with several other cases and there are no reasons for this particular case to be given priority to the detriment of other cases the court is currently hearing which are also considered to be important".

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The libels were filed following allegations that the PM’s wife is the ultimate beneficial owner of Egrant, a company that was set up in Panama.

The DOI said the Prime Minister is dismayed by this decision but will respect it and is ready to cooperate in all stages of the proceedings.

The DOI said the Prime Minister and his family want the truth to come out under oath in court "for lies and baseless calumnies being written unscrupulously to stop".

The court observed that it is “tied up with several other cases and there are no reasons for this particular case to be given priority to the detriment of other cases the court is currently hearing which are also considered to be important”.

Magistrate Depasquale's decision was filed yesterday 24 April. Along with the refusal for Joseph Muscat's request, Magistrate Depasquale rejected requests for speedy trial using the exact same reasoning for libel cases filed by Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri

Minister Owen Bonnici from The Malta Independent on Vimeo.

 Minister for Justice Owen Bonnici later told The Malta Independent that he agreed with "the Prime Minister’s statement on the matter where he expressed his disappointment, but [they] will respect the magistrate’s decision"

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