Daphne’s Libel Cases: Mizzi and Schembri don’t go clear their names

Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi were not present at Court for the libels against the assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Two hearings were supposed to take place in Court today against Daphne Caruana Galizia after she corrupted their reputation by saying that they were avoiding taxes with companies in Panama. However, Schembri and Mizzi did not appear to clear their name.

Sarah Clarke, International Policy and Advocacy Manager for PEN International, a freedom of expression organisation, tweeted a picture of court sessions due today. She wrote that on Caruana Galizia’s assassination, her family inherited 34 civil libel cases, all taken by senior members of the government and businessmen. She stressed that the legal harassment of a dead journalist’s memory and her family is an outrage.

Flutura Kusari, the lawyer representing The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) who is monitoring court proceedings to do with Daphne Caruana Galizia argued that these are SLAPP lawsuits. This means that it is a lawsuit that is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.