Author demands BA remedy because TVM did not report self-published Panamagate essay

Former Labour candidate Mark Sammut’s book was only covered by In-Nazzjon, now he wants the BA to force the national broadcaster to report his self-published polemic

Mark Sammut (left) discusses his self-published polemic with Simon Mercieca (right). In attendance, a reporter from In-Nazzjon
Mark Sammut (left) discusses his self-published polemic with Simon Mercieca (right). In attendance, a reporter from In-Nazzjon

A former Labour candidate who has authored a polemic against the Maltese government over its tarnished record on the Panama Papers and its neoliberal economics, is incensed that the national broadcaster did not cover his book launch.

Only one newspaper, the Nationalist Party’s organ In-Nazzjon, attended the launch of Mark A. Sammut’s self-published ‘L-Aqwa fl-Ewropa’, for which he also roped in university academic Simon Mercieca for intellectual ballast at his news conference.

Sammut was only given front-page prominence in In-Nazzjon on Friday, despite his notoriety inside PN circles as the notary for Alfred Sant’s “people’s pact” stunt ahead of the 2003 election; and for having been given a suspended sentence in 2010 by the Appeals Court when it overturned his acquittal for carrying a firearm as he prepared to board an airplane.

In Luxembourg, where he now works with the European institutions, he is facing an administrative enquiry for allegedly threatening, slandering and intimidating his head of unit Joseph Caruana. He has made identical counter-accusations.

Sammut filed his email complaint on Sunday morning at 1:47am. “I want the Broadcasting Authority to investigate why PBS did not report the publication of my book. It has national relevance because it is authored by a former Labour candidate who was prominent in the 2003 campaign; it’s the only book that analyses the Panama scandal and Joseph Muscat’s neoliberal politics and its effect on the working and middle classes,” Sammut said.

Sammut, the son of the late novelist Frans Sammut, also said that the BA had already decided that the PBS had been wrong not to report comments by former prime minister Alfred Sant which he made on Facebook, on minister Konrad Mizzi and Muscat’s chief of staff Keith Schembri, both implicated in the Panama Papers.

“This same comment was expressed in my book. So if the principle suffices for Facebook, then it should apply in the case of a book.”

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