Silvio Scerri loses libel case against John Bundy

Court throws out libel case instituted by Silvio Scerri against John Bundy

Silvio Scerri
Silvio Scerri

A court has thrown out a libel suit filed by Silvio Scerri, formerly chief of staff to Minister Manuel Mallia, against TV presenter John Bundy, today chief executive officer at PBS.

Scerri had filed the court case against Bundy in 2014, after the Times of Malta had run a story in which Bundy had alleged that Scerri had wanted to get former TVAM presenter Norman Vella off the air.

Magistrate Francesco Depasquale held that Scerri, at the time aide-de-camp to Mallia, was unlikely to have been unaware of the decision to redeploy Vella to another post in the civil service, despite his protestations to the contrary.

“The court finds it hard to understand how a chief of staff of such an important Ministry could ever be unaware of correspondence that had been exchanged between the permanent secretary and the OPM with the aim of removing Vella from TVM, when the same Ministry and Secretariat... had been regularly receiving many complaints about Vella and the fact that he was being allowed to broadcast programs on TVM despite the change in government.”

While the decision had an administrative aspect that could have been taken care of by the permanent secretary, there was also a political one that would have been dealt with by the Minister's chief of staff, said the court, noting that Bundy's version and timeline of events was apparently closer to the truth.

The case was dismissed.