Man who threatened Roberta Metsola conditionally discharged after apologising in court

Accused says he is sorry for warning the PN MEP she would end up like slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia

PN MEP Roberta Metsola
PN MEP Roberta Metsola

A man who threatened Roberta Metsola by warning the Nationalist MEP that she would meet the same end as Caruana Galizia has apologised in court, saying it was not his intention to bring harm to anyone.

Josef Farrugia had posted a comment on a Facebook thread in May, saying that Metsola better be careful or she'd "end up like Caruana Galizia", who was murdered by a car bomb in October 2017.

"Toqghod attenta ghax bhal galizzja tisspica (sic)," he had written. Metsola has subsequently filed a police report.

Farrugia, who has since deactivated his Facebook account, told the court on Wednesday that he was sorry. "It was never my intention to cause harm to anyone or to incite violence on Roberta Metsola," he said.

He pleaded guilty to charges of having caused Metsola to fear violence through online harassment. 

"While the court understands that everyone is within his right to express himself, nobody should be made to feel threatened or should instigate the impression that someone ought to be murdered in the way Daphne Caruana Galizia has been," presiding magistrate Joe Mifsud said.

"Daphne Caruana Galizia should have never ended up the way she did. She has been missed by her family and left a serious wound in our nation."

The court issued a five-year protection order for Metsola, and conditionally discharged the accused for a period of three years. 

Inspector Joseph Scerri prosecuted.

Lawyer Angele Formosa was defence counsel. 

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