Lawyer Pawlu Lia had a tiff in Court with assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia’s heirs regarding the seizing of her assets during libel proceedings after they reopened the case claiming it was dropped to hide evidence. Lia represented businessman and Government consultant Joe Gerada who the journalist had alleged had gone to a brother in Germany with Minister Chris Cardona.
Caruana Galizia had been taken to Court by Cardona and Gerada leading to a number of garnishee orders after she published the allegedly libelous in her blog, Running Commentary. However, after her assassination, the two men had withdrawn their lawsuits.
The Caruana Galizia family then took Gerada to Court for dropping the case and the garnishee orders without any evidence having been presented during the cases. According to them, the move showed that the cases were “malicious, frivolous and vexatious”.
The fresh proceedings started yesterday in a Court presided by Magistrate Marseanne Farrugia, where Lia accused Lawyer Peter Caruana Galizia of trying to re-open the case his client had retracted. Lia said that the case led to personal grievances for Gerada, including the failure of his marriage.
Caruana Galizia subsequently accused Lia of wanting to avoid evidence from Vodafone regarding the men’s locations during the alleged brothel incident. Lia answered that this was not the case, but that it was Peter Caruana Galizia himself who asked for the case to be dropped.
Lia addressed the Court and said that the Caruana Galizia family only wants to reopen the case so that his client testifies, and they would be able to say what they want about him. He insisted that he had no intention of cooperating with them, because the last time he did, he was betrayed.
The case was postponed until April, when Caruana Galizia is expected to present evidence on the retired cases.