The Malta Independent 29 May 2024, Wednesday
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Updated: ‘We will not leave Camilleri alone’ – Repubblika president

Friday, 24 March 2023, 19:18 Last update: about 2 years ago

Marc Galdes and Andrew Izzo Clarke

We will not leave Mark Camilleri to fight his battle on his own, Repubblika president Robert Aquilina said on Friday evening.

He was speaking at the end of a protest in solidarity with the author who this week leaked chat exchanges between the man accused of being a mastermind in the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, and an MP.

The unredacted chats were made public on Tuesday, just 24 hours before Camilleri was due to face Cutajar in court in a libel case the MP had filed against him, in which she had denied having a relationship with Fenech.

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The leaked chats appear to indicate, amongst other things, that Cutajar and Fenech had been in an intimate relationship and that Cutajar had received expensive gifts from the Tumas magnate which she had failed to declare.

Hours after the publication of the chat exchanges, a judge ruled that criminal action be taken by the police against author Mark Camilleri for breaching a court ban by publishing the messages.

In his speech on Friday, Aquilina said that Camilleri is also being challenged for allegations he made against Cutajar, just like how Daphne Caruana Galizia was treated. After he uploaded all the proof, Aquilina said that now everyone knows that “Mark Camilleri didn’t lie, today everyone knows that what Mark Camilleri wrote was real and nothing more than the truth.”

He reminded people that this is not the first time that Repubblika has said that Cutajar should not be in parliament, it also took to the streets two years ago calling for her resignation.

“Tonight I warn the Police commissioner and the Attorney General, let's not get into a situation where journalists and activists start being taken to court before corrupt criminals who robbed us.”

Aquilina began his speech by mentioning how the ongoing magisterial inquiry on the three hospitals which were passed on to the private sector – before being returned to the public following a landmark court ruling - and the Pilatus Bank magisterial inquiry all started because Repubblika revealed proof.

He mentioned how the Pilatus Bank magisterial inquiry cost €7.5 million to collect the proof needed, however, after the magisterial inquiry concluded, the court never acted upon the recommendations of the inquiry.

“Instead of acting on the shocking evidence of the inquiry and arresting those who had to be arrested, these institutions are fighting against us.”

He mentioned how magistrate Nadine Lia actually asked the police to investigate Repubblika about how Repubblika got its evidence.

“It is evident that Magistrate Lia is not interested in all the dirt under the carpet, but she is only interested in whoever lifted the carpet and exposed this filth.”

Aquilina said that no investigation or threat of prison will stop Repubblika from revealing the truth about this case and every other case.

“For the truth and justice to win in our country, we are ready to do anything.”

He added that now that Repubblika is showing proof in the Pilatus case, the Police commissioner and the attorney general want the case to continue behind closed doors. “After years of being challenged to bring evidence, now that we have brought the evidence, they will see what they can do to hide them again!”

Alessandra Dee Crespo, the first speaker, quoted from the chat exchange revealed by Camilleri, wherein Rosianne Cutajar said that “this country is sick.”

Crespo went on to say that “the authorities intimidate those who expose corruption with jail, rather those who actually commit criminal acts in the first place.”

“This is how the mafia works, by protecting their own,” Crespo said.

“The Commissioner of the police Angelo Gafa and the Attorney General Victoria Buttigieg were very efficient in this case,” said Crespo, “as they were ready to prosecute Camilleri with the full force of the law within a mere 48 hours.”

“The institutions are gloves worn by criminal hands,” Crespo said.

She concluded her speech by saying that the “funds raised [during the event] will be given to Mark Camilleri to cover his legal expenses.”

Manuel Delia, while admitting to having had differences with Mark Camilleri in the past, was quick to point out that “everyone ought to fight for the right to free expression, even when someone disagrees with someone else.”

There was a further personal reason for Delia’s involvement too. “More than a year ago, when I had some ‘heat’ on my back, Camilleri offered me safe refuge if I ever needed it outside of Malta.”

“In response to those who say that Camilleri ought to be prosecuted because he broke the law, I will quote Oliver Friggieri who said that an unjust law must be broken,” said Delia.

“I want to thank (Prime Minister) Abela, however, because he made me become friends with greens and socialists, Marxists and Catholics who ordinarily agree on nothing but one thing: they want a country that isn’t governed by thieves,” said Delia.

Camilleri, speaking through a phone call, said, “I’m honoured that this protest is being held in solidarity with my plight.”

“This government is doing a lot of harm and this government has lost its mind,” said Camilleri.

“This is a very serious situation,” he said, adding that “to defend Cutajar after all the evidence has come out shows that they’re not realizing the harm being done to the country or party.”

“The demographics are changing and people aren’t falling for the government’s propaganda anymore,” Camilleri said.

“I agree with Manuel Delia; lots of different people have one aim which is to have a normal government as opposed to a criminal one,” said Camilleri.

“The situation cannot be fixed from the inside. We need to wait for the system to break down on its own before then building it up all over again.”

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