Neville Gafà to be arraigned over threats made to Italian journalist

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The police have decided that there is sufficient evidence to arraign former OPM official Neville Gafà over a threat he directed at investigative Italian journalist Nello Scavo.

Scavo regularly reports on the plight of asylum seekers risking their lives in a bid to reach safety in Europe, and has closely followed the tragic death of asylum seekers which occurred over Easter: and the subsequent pushback of survivors to Libya.

But last June, Gafà, who boasts of close ties to Libya and who has been presenting himself as a key anti-immigration figure, had used his Twitter account to tell Scavo “stop your dirty business. If not, we will be stopping you.”

In the wake of the threat, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has asked the police to investigate Gafà, who confirmed on Saturday afternoon that he was set to be taken to Court as a result.

Gafà plays the victim

Gafà, who often employs rhetoric typical of the far right in his public statements, described himself as the victim of a concerted campaign which pressured the authorities to act against him.

Għadni kemm ġejt infurmat mill-awtoritajiet, li wara investigazzjoni li saret fil-konfront tiegħi, fejn anke ġejt…

Posted by Neville Gafa' on Saturday, August 29, 2020

He specifically mentioned the Italian Embassy and numerous press freedom organisations, including Reporters Without Borders and the European Federation of Journalists, in his list.

But he also lamented that the organisations “even enjoyed the support of some who presume to be Maltese like us,” in an apparent attempt to depict critics as traitors.

He asked the public to provide him with ‘moral support,’ whilst promising to continue fighting “so that Malta does not become a refugee camp.”

Gafà also insisted that he had no intention to threaten Scavo, “let alone doing so publicly on social media.”