The Malta Independent 14 April 2021, Wednesday

TVM found guilty of lack of impartiality in not reporting hospitals court case

Thursday, 25 February 2021, 11:39 Last update: about 3 months ago

The Broadcasting Authority has found state broadcaster TVM guilty of a lack of impartiality over its failure to carry a report about the testimony of former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat in the court case against the sale of three public hospitals.

In a case filed by the Nationalist Party, the Broadcasting Authority agreed that Muscat’s testimony was of news value and that the case was of national interest and should have been reported.

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Muscat testified in the case opened by former PN leader Adrian Delia in a bid to strike off a deal which saw the St. Luke’s, Karin Grech, and Gozo General hospitals be signed off for 30 years to Vitals Global Healthcare.

TVM argued that it was standard practice for the broadcaster not to cover ongoing proceedings in court as it takes a certain amount of resources in order to do this.

However, the Broadcasting Authority disagreed, concluding that the state broadcaster should have broadcast the Prime Minister’s testimony as the case is an important one and of national interest.

In a statement following the ruling, the PN, which was represented in the case by party secretary general Francis Zammit Dimech and MP Karol Aquilina, insisted that public broadcasting cannot continue being used as a partisan tool by Robert Abela’s government.

In light of the BA’s decision, the PN said that it is now expecting TVM to start reporting the number of scandals that are emerging from a number of cases in court about abuses of power and corruption involving politicians and high-ranking Labour officials in a consistent and impartial manner.

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