The Malta Independent 17 September 2021, Friday

Request to preserve phone records in FKK Acapulco case was made under ‘invalid law’ – Cardona

Kevin Schembri Orland Friday, 12 May 2017, 11:53 Last update: about 5 years ago

Economy Minister Chris Cardona alleged today that the request made by Daphne Caruana Galizia’s legal team, to preserve certain phone records regarding the minister’s phone while on his trip in Germany, was based on a law declared invalid by the European Courts.

The Minister was asked by The Malta Independent why he chose to object to the preservation of certain phone records which may help prove that he was not at the brothel FKK Acapulco while in Germany.

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Journalist and blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia had alleged that on 30 January, when Dr Cardona and his chosen aide Joe Gerada were on a state visit to Germany, they had visited a brothel in Velbert. Dr Cardona and his aide vehemently denied the claims, while others criticised the controversial blogger for releasing the story without a picture to accompany the allegations.                  

Both Dr Cardona and Mr Gerada filed two libel cases each against the blogger, and had warrant of seizures accepted meaning that a total €49,000 was frozen in her bank accounts. The legal team of Mrs Caruana Galizia had filed a court application to preserve the phone records of Dr Cardona and Mr Gerada on the night in question, because had they switched on roaming while they were allegedly at or within the vicinity of the brothel, this would be traceable through mobile communication records. In the court application, Labour Party lawyer Pawlu Lia contended that the request for the preservation of phone records is a “fishing expedition” and the onus of proof is on Mrs Caruana Galizia.

Minister Cardona said that legal hearings are ongoing in court, and that legal arguments are made in court and not outside of it “as we respect the bench and the Judiciary, and we don’t want to influence it with arguments made outside. The second point is that whoever makes allegations must provide evidence.”

He said that the court is not a place where one makes allegations, is sued, and then tries to claw and try and find any reason to justify the allegations made.

The minister argued that “ironically, Daphne Caruana Galizia’s lawyer Antonio Ghio made the request. He is the former Chairman of the Malta Communications Authority appointed by the former government. Dr Ghio made a request based on a law that was declared invalid by the European Court. This is the level of expertise the previous government had when he was the MCA Chairman. The request is based on a law that the European Court declared as invalid.”                                                                 

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