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Jonathan Ferris sues MaltaToday for ‘libellous’ video blog

Former police inspector Jonathan Ferris is suing managing editor Saviour Balzan for libel over a video blog which the former FIAU official claims to be ‘libellous’

3 August 2017, 3:25pm
File photo of Jonathan Ferris
File photo of Jonathan Ferris
Former Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit official Jonathan Ferris has filed a libel suit against MediaToday managing editor Saviour Balzan, for comments in a video blog he claims are libellous.

The video blog, which tackles a number of issues such as overdevelopment and how newspapers deliver the news, was uploaded in July.

Balzan referred to comments that Ferris gave to another newspaper, about his sacking from the FIAU.

In his video blog reacting to the news report, Balzan referred to Ferris’s investigation into the oil procurement scandal – a story which MaltaToday broke.

“I know Ferris as the inspector involved in the investigation of the Enemalta oil scandal, and I assure he got as far in that investigation as Inspector Clouseau.”

Balzan goes on to refer to the newspaper’s description of Ferris, which reminded how he had led the prosecution of his own cousin.

“However Ferris didn’t say that it’s unethical to investigate or arraign family members,” Balzan said, reminding that the cousin – former Enemalta chief officer Ray Ferris – had been acquitted of bribery charges.

Balzan also referred to the FIAU’s objection to have Ferris investigate the Egrant allegations. The 44-year-old former police inspector had arrested the same Russian whistleblower, and has a pending court case against her.

In conclusion, Balzan said that such “one-sided reporting” does little to stop people losing faith in the independent media.