Legal redress to be sought on yachting awards

We have every right to enjoy a level playing ground where such processes are concerned

26 February 2017, 9:50am
Our company still insists that Yachting Malta did not just steal the idea of the awards from us following several meetings and communication overtures which clearly attest to this fact
Our company still insists that Yachting Malta did not just steal the idea of the awards from us following several meetings and communication overtures which clearly attest to this fact
Reference is made to the report ‘Malta Yachting Awards to go ahead after court dismisses “spiteful” injunction’ (MaltaToday.com.mt, 18 February).

With regard to the words ‘spiteful injunction’ and further on, ‘the judge was particularly critical of the fact that plaintiff had been informed that he had not been selected since January, but had waited until the last opportunity to file the injunction’, we deem this as incorrect.

It was never our intention to act in any vindictive manner whatsoever. We categorically and vehemently deny this. We wish to point out that we acted always under legal advice and guidance, and also within the limits of the law. The fact that the injunction was legally accepted and authorised by the law courts is proof of this. 

If one were to take account of the facts why such an injunction was made, this was only due to Yachting Malta’s intentional and continued procrastination to confirm and clarify what was promised to us on merit.

Our company still insists that Yachting Malta did not just steal the idea of the awards from us following several meetings and communication overtures which clearly attest to this fact. It was only after several meetings and following consultation with us, that Yachting Malta changed their course, and opted to organise the event with distinct award categories, exactly how we had advised upon their request, without giving any reason to justify their decisions, and despite us having rightfully queried that decision, without any response justifying the actions and behaviour. Indeed, there was “the clear intention” of being selected to organise and market the event, as the hard documents submitted in court demonstrate.

Mr Wilfred Buttigieg not only requested us to provide full logistical, equipment, F&B, catering, entertainment, organisational, presentation, promotion, sponsor names and execution of the event. In another email we submitted at the same court sitting, he requested, “We will also require a separate marketing campaign through the press and require a specific price for such a campaign including articles and adverts. Kindly advise re: costings for this.” On these issues, the company is also reserving its rights on whether to sue on pre-contractual liabilities for irreparable and irredeemable damages, as well as other courses of legal action open to us.

At no point during our meetings was the name of Daphne Caruana Galizia ever mentioned, and that during these meetings Mr Buttigieg was in the presence of Ms Margaret Brincat, and myself. We both categorically deny this and what was maliciously and indecorously stated by Mr Buttigieg.

Mr Buttigieg is a publicly accountable figure, and since in his own words this was a ‘public procurement processes’, as CEO of Yachting Malta, he is duty bound to be transparent and also furnish bidders with explanations and rectify reasons for any queries, clarify any rejections and address any other grievances being requested by a bidder. That was not done. MBR Publications never wanted to cause any problems, but always insisted for the truth and hence the reason why we waved the red flag. 

There was no due diligence done or background checks on the other sole bidder mentioned in Mr Buttigieg’s email. We will be seeking legal redress to remedy all this, which is in breach of the fundamental principles of EU law. 

We have every right to enjoy a level playing ground where such processes are concerned. God forbid such choices are left in the sole hands of one person. And I stated this in court. Our conscience in this regard is clean.

Martin Vella, Birkirkara

Editorial note: The reporting of court decisions are privileged in the Press Act, and this letter submitted by the plaintiff in the case is not being published as a right of reply. Allegations that could have been defamatory and could cause liability for this newspaper have been edited out of the letter.

Gozo on the move

Reference is made to the article penned by Ryan Mercieca in last Sunday’s edition of MaltaToday.

The Ministry for Gozo wishes to clarify the following: Recent statistics confirm that unemployment in Gozo has decreased by a third during this legislature. It is currently at a record low. During the PN tenure, unemployment in Gozo was on the rise.

Between 2013 and 2015, a total of 1,351 Gozitans became gainfully employed, 1,090 of them in Gozo itself, the huge majority of them within the private sector.

During 2012, the last full year of a PN-led government, the GDP of Gozo increased by 1.1%. The Gozitan GDP, during 2015, experienced a tenfold growth of 9.6%, a far cry from the stagnation the economy was in during the PN tenure.

This government is reversing the negative trend bequeathed to it by successive PN governments, a quarter of a century in which Gozo attracted absolutely no foreign direct investment.

The current government has obtained millions in EU funds with which to convert the derelict MMU site in Mgarr Road, Xewkija, into a digital hub, the largest investment in Gozo is about to materialise and will transform the local hospital into a medical hub, and moreover, new companies are opting to open shop in Gozo, the latest being KPMG.

A €3.2 million fund intended to lay out a new fibre optic cable between the islands is definitely a step in the right direction, as is the new fast catamaran to be launched in the next months between Gozo and Valletta.

Last but not least, tourism and the property sector are once again pumping millions into the Gozitan economy following the slowdown experienced during the last PN government.

This is a government which is bringing tangible positive results to Gozo and the Gozitans.

Marthese Attard, Communications Officer, Ministry for Gozo