Matthew Caruana Galizia sued for libel over Jan Kuciak murder tweet by tax lawyers

Multiple civil libel suits filed against journalist Matthew Caruana Galizia by Maltese corporate services provider

Christian Ellul and Karl Schranz (inset) filed three libel suits against Matthew Caruana Galizia
Christian Ellul and Karl Schranz (inset) filed three libel suits against Matthew Caruana Galizia

Multiple civil libel suits have been filed against journalist Matthew Caruana Galizia, the son of the late journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, by a Maltese corporate services provider and an accountant over a series of tweets in which Caruana Galizia links them to tax fraud and murder.

“Chief suspect in the murder of #JánKuciak, Marián Kočner, used Malta for money laundering/tax evasion. His daughter is married to his Maltese lawyer, Christian Ellul, of Ellul & Schranz Group, a sort of mini-Mossack Fonseca. It is corruption which threatens journalism in Europe,” reads one of the tweets. In another, he quotes a 2012 story linking Kočner to money laundering.

Tax lawyer Christian Ellul, the son of former PN candidate Helga Ellul, and accountant Karl Schranz, together with their company E&S Consultancy, filed three separate libel suits against the journalist over the tweets which were posted in February and March 2018.

A fourth libel suit was filed against Caroline Muscat of the Shift News over a story on the same subject.

The story was also picked up by foreign news outlets, who made investigations of their own.

Last year, Ellul and Schranz’s firm had published a statement refuting the allegations.

When the case was called for its first sitting this morning before magistrate Rachel Montebello, the court was informed by the plaintiff’s counsel, lawyer Joe Giglio, that Muscat's defence lawyer Andrew Borg Cardona was unable to attend the sitting but had expressed the intention to contest the case. The defendant was given a 15-day period in which she is to present her reply to the original application.

Caruana Galizia had not been notified about the case.

The case was put off for May.