Moviment Graffitti has joined the Institute of Maltese Journalists in calling for anti-SLAPP legislation to be introduced without further delay.
On Wednesday, the NGO condemned the SLAPPs, strategic lawsuits against public participation, being threatened against five Maltese media houses who reported on the Montenegro windfarm deal that enriched private persons at the expense of the public.
In a statement the NGO said that these lawsuits are nothing more than vicious attempts to silence the media, and are antithetical to robust democracy as they are fought with money, not reason or rectitude.
Graffitti described Turab Musayev as a man with a lot to hide and explained how he was Electrogas co-director until December 11, 2020, two weeks after another co-director, Yorgen Fenech, was arrested in relation to the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia.
Musayev is the owner of the Seychelles company that bought a Montenegro windfarm and sold it to Enemalta for over three times the price the following week.
Musayev hired a British law firm to send legal letters to Maltese media houses threatening them with a suit in British courts.
“In a media landscape where publications are already fighting for survival, the thought of frequent travel to another country, engaging expensive foreign lawyers, and spending a large amount of time focusing on a single story, is often enough to make these publications withdraw the story, leaving the public clueless and uninformed,” explained the NGO which also stated that it is unacceptable and referred to what happened back in 2017 when the company selling Maltese passports, Henley & Partners, successfully SLAPPed several Maltese media houses.
Freedom of the press and freedom of expression should never be limited by the wealth of the person being reported on stated Moviment Graffiti.