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Cachia Caruana files libel suit over ‘puff’ comment

Former EU ambassador files libel suit against former Labour minister Joe Grima.

13 September 2012, 12:00am
Former Labour minister Joe Grima has been sued for libel by Richard Cachia Caruana.
Former Labour minister Joe Grima has been sued for libel by Richard Cachia Caruana.
Malta's former permanent representative to the European Union, Richard Cachia Caruana, has filed a libel suit against former Labour minister and until recently a One TV chat-show host Joe Grima, for comments he made about him on Faceboo

Cachia Caruana claimed that Grima made libellous allegations in his regard when he called him a 'puff' [Grima brusquely dubbed the PN strategist 'Rich il-puff'] and alleging he was selling off a villa for €5 million with an 'exclusive' permit for a pool.

Grima resigned from his One TV show Inkontri a few weeks ago after reacting in the most ungraceful of manners on his Facebook wall, in a comment he passed on Catholic Herald writer Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith, a priest who penned a critical obituary of Labour prime minister Dom Mintoff.

Writing on his Facebook wall, Grima told Lucie-Smith to 'fuck off'' and that he should have 'paedophile' priests to 'show [him] the ropes'. An unrelenting Grima not only failed to apologise but a few days later he referred to Cachia Caruana as 'Rich il-puff'.

After causing a huge public uproar, Labour leader Joseph Muscat did his best to dissociate himself from Grima and the former minister submitted his resignation.

Muscat accepted the resignation of Grima from One TV. In his resignation letter, Grima said: "I feel that neither you nor the Labour Party should in any way pay a price for what was, in every way, a slip-up which is being turned into one attack after another on you and on the party."

Grima first entered the political fray in 1976 and was elected to parliament thanks to a casual election for a seat vacated by the infamous Labour minister Lorry Sant. He was Mintoff's special envoy for Europe, North Africa and the Middle east, before being appointed industry and commerce ministry in 1981. In the years following Alfred Sant's election as Labour leader in 1992, Grima re-emerged from the political wilderness and anchored a discussion programme on the Nationalist Party's television station, openly supporting his former nemesis Eddie Fenech Adami.

Yet, after Sant's resignation and Joseph Muscat's election in 2008, Grima was once again welcomed back to the Labour Party, hosting a television show on Labour's One Television and being a noisy and indomitable critic of his original enemy - the Nationalist Party.

Karl Cucciardi Interessanti.
Karl Cucciardi Interessanti.
Monique Vella
Kemm sar touchy hu dan RCC! Palma f'id wahda u kuruna f'rasu jonqsu bieb jibbeatifikawh!
Raymond Mintoff
@[email protected], RCC felt slighted by the word "RICH" not "Pouf" which is an 18th century hair style still in vogue , like Amy Winehouse had (RIP)
Rebecca Muscat
Tgħid dan hu kas fejn il-verita toffendi ? In simple words , Could it be that someone feels offended by the truth ?
M Saliba
Causing a huge public uproar?? Where in the hell was the huge public uproar? I support Mr. Grima, that Lucifer Smith just got what he deserves.Good on you Joe
Sean Mangion
Kbirna u xjahna u bqajna l-istess anzi ma tghallimna xejn sur Joe Grima. Mhux bizzejjed kienu dawk iz zminijiet meta kont ministru ? Tibqa tivvinta u twaddab it-tajn( imagina meta kont ministru u kellek certu sahha x'kont taghmel mela!?) RCC ghandu villa li tiswa 5 miljuni gol belt , iva jew le? Ghaliex kulhadd jaqla u jivvinta il hmieg?!
George Zammit Montebello
It is a pity that we shall not see Joe Grima in Inkontri and we will miss him. Contrary to the Nationalist Party, when people resign at PL they stay resigned. The Prime Minister never accepts a resignation from his Cabinet even if they have committed grave mistakes than Joe Grima's. That is the difference between PL and pN.
Antonio Pace
This should be an interesting case to follow. It pushes Maltese courts to determine whether being called a puff is libellous. In Australia, we take great pride in being called 'puffs'. In some gay bars in Australia, owned and run by gay men, the toilets are marked Poofters and Dykes. And what about the film: Witches, Faggots, Dykes & Poofters? But I forget, some Maltese are oh, oh, oh, so respectable. Speak of a parochial attitude. Hilarious. I doubt annyone in Australia called a 'puff' would regard that as libellous. It would simply be laughed off. As I have done many times.
Malcolm Mifsud
We seem to be getting rather touchy in this country for getting offended for being called a puff. As far as I Know a puff is a cream pastry cake or a person so puffed up that he thinks he is god's gift to the nation. Yesterday watching the British parliament question time Ed Milliband repeatedly called Dave Cameron "Butch" and in turn Dave retorted in just as strong but decorous banter and I don't expect to see any libel suits or breach of privilege flying.
Manuel Scicluna
Check the word "puff" on Wikipedia, then try and figure out where RCC has a case.
albert leone
Tghid din il-kawza ta' libell tinstemgha wara bibien maghluqa???? Ghandha tkun interessanti....
Lino Micallef
Joe Grima was frustrated of what that evil lying priest said on his blog. I could see him upset even at Mintoff's funeral at San Gwann Co Cathedral, he was devastated with Mintoff's demise. He lost control, his program was good and its pity, we miss you Joe Grima do not be disheartened, next time do not be so spontaneous, pls.
Antoine Mallia
Ma nahsibx li ha jfittxu ghax qallu hekk.... Kif jista jichad dak li filfatt hu ?
Paul Debono
Joe Grima, it is a pity that you are not a Nationalist Party member, otherwise you would have not resigned as you would have had the Prime Minister Gonzi backing you up all the way. I will be missing the program “Inkontri”.
Adrian Zerafa
Kemm jiehdu ghalihom certu nies, ara li xihadd min naha tal-Partit ta'RCC jaghjjar lill-Laburisti closet gays jew xi PrimMinistru jghajjar lill-nofs malta mumji dak jista. Mill-banda l-ohra dan il-kaz ghandu jintuzgha bhalha test case halli kull min jghjjar ikun jista jitressaq il-qorti bl-libel u ma jkunx hemm skuzi fuq hadd.