IGM expects Attorney General to shoulder responsibility for bribery case bungle

The Institute of Maltese Journalists says Attorney General must shoulder responsibility 'mistake' that helped acquit two lawyers from charges they tried to bribe a journalist and hopes this was unintentional

Attorney General Victoria Buttigieg
Attorney General Victoria Buttigieg

The Attorney General’s ‘mistake’ in the case against two lawyers who allegedly tried to bribe journalist Ivan Martin, is another case where journalists are not protected by the institutions, the Institute of Maltese Journalists said.

IĠM called on the Attorney General to shoulder responsibility for the bungle that qualified the criminal offence wrongly, forcing the magistrate to clear the lawyers of attempted bribery.

"It has to be noted that the magistrate made it clear in her judgment that the journalist had refused the money offered to him by the lawyers and at no stage did the prosecution consider charging him with corruption. On the contrary, Ivan Martin carried out his duty with utmost responsibility by not only refusing the money but also reporting the case that led the police to charge the lawyers," IĠM said.

While expressing solidarity with Martin, the IĠM urged journalists to continue striving to expose the truth through their stories despite persistent undermining by the country’s highest authorities. "Journalists will always find the IGM there to support them."

"Apart from expecting the AG to shoulder responsibility for this blunder, which we hope was unintentional and the result of inexperience in criminal proceedings, the IGM stresses that it is about time that the authorities start protecting the fourth pillar of democracy in a more serious way," the representative body said.

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