The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom has condemned the insults faced by Italian journalist Nello Scavo as he entered court in Valletta on Thursday. Scavo was testifying in the criminal case against Neville Gafà, who had threatened him online.
In a statement, the Centre explained that upon entering the hearing, Scavo and Maltese blogger Manuel Delia were insulted with vulgar epithets shouted in Italian by a crowd of people who had amassed in apparent support of Gafà.
It further recalled that the assassination of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was preceded by years of verbal threats, attacks on her home, vexatious legal actions and other forms of harassment. It continued to note that verbal threats from government officials and high-profile individuals, in particular, demonise the media and independent scrutiny and can, if unaddressed, lead to physical acts of violence and send a message of impunity.
“A verdict will be pronounced on 15th October 2020. We call on the court to ensure that their decision reflects the gravity of the crime.”
Earlier today, Scavo addressed a press conference which took place in front of the national monument dedicated to the Great Siege. Robert Aquilina on behalf of Repubblika said that Neville Gafà is not new to threats to journalists.
Following sufficient evidence, on Thursday, the Police arraigned former OPM official Neville Mario Gafà over a threat he directed at investigative Italian journalist Nello Scavo.