After suing MaltaToday for libel five times already, Labour’s deputy leader Michael Falzon is suing MaltaToday Midweek and MaltaToday on Sunday again over a report concerning the confiscation of dead birds brought to Malta by a hunting party, which included Michael Falzon.
Falzon has claimed the MaltaToday report and the editorial ‘Construction cruises and hunting holidays’, which appeared on MaltaToday Midweek, “are full of lies, twisting of facts, contradictions and incorrect.”
The story, which appeared on 20 January 2008, reported that a hunting party, which included Falzon, had its luggage confiscated by the veterinary division for the testing of dead birds for avian flu. Falzon’s luggage, as confirmed to MaltaToday by himself, was not among those confiscated by the veterinary division, since his luggage did not contain birds.
In the editorial, published on 23 January in MaltaToday Midweek, the newspaper claimed that Falzon’s choice of holiday companions, just weeks before the elections, brought into question the principle at stake when PN secretary-general Joe Saliba chose to accompany building contractor Zaren Vassallo on a Mediterranean cruise last August.
Falzon also called on the Institute of Maltese Journalists to “condemn” the MaltaToday newspapers, which he claimed are using “freedom of the press” as an excuse to push their “agenda of hate and persecution of a section of Maltese and Gozitan people, and individuals.”
On its part, the Institute of Maltese Journalists said any alleged breach of ethics would have to be presented in writing to its Press Ethics Commission. The Institute said it would not be treating the matter since the commission does not take any cases which have been presented to the Courts and are under libel procedures.