Church radio to challenge BA Lowell ruling in court

Broadcaster RTK 103 and presenter Andrew Azzopardi are seeking the nullification of a €6,410 fine over comments and the esclusion of far-right leader Norman Lowell

RTK 103 and presenter Andrew Azzopardi are set to challenge the decision of the Broadcasting Authority, aiming to nullify a hefty fine imposed on both the station and Azzopardi himself.

The controversy stems from Azzopardi's characterisation of far-right leader Norman Lowell as a racist during a broadcast, while saying that he would never allow him as a guest onto his show.

RTK 103 has initiated the process for a judicial review in the Court following the Broadcasting Authority's decision to levy a fine of €6,410 on the station.

The broadcaster asserts that Azzopardi's use of the term 'racist' was grounded in evidence, citing a Court of Appeal judgment that convicted Lowell of inciting racial hatred.

This conviction, resulting in a 15-month suspended sentence, was complemented by a more recent Court of Appeal ruling, which found that Lowell's political messages conveyed racism, xenophobia, and hatred.

Throughout the years, Lowell himself has described himself as a 'racialist,' a term that, by dictionary definition, equates to racist.

RTK 103 maintains that the characterisation was a fair value judgment based on incontrovertible evidence.

The Broadcasting Authority's decision to fine RTK 103 has sparked controversy, especially considering the Authority's past actions against TV stations featuring Lowell.

RTK 103 questioned the inconsistency in the Authority's stance, highlighting its commitment to not entertain or tolerate racial hatred.

The broadcaster highlighted the peculiar nature of the Authority's accusation, alleging a 'potential breach' based on a hypothetical scenario that did not occur.

Additionally, RTK 103 questioned the selectivity in quoting Azzopardi, omitting a sentence that clarified his inquiry about directives not yet in place.


The implications of the Broadcasting Authority's approach are far-reaching, setting a precarious precedent for Maltese media. The insistence on granting airtime to Lowell to express his views, despite the station's refusal to entertain racial hatred, raises concerns about the balance between freedom of expression and combating racial discrimination.

Adding to the controversy is the Authority's shifting treatment of Imperium Europa's initial complaint, initially treating it as such and later deciding it constituted a breach of the Broadcasting Act.

RTK 103 also expressed unease over the fact that the board secretary of the Broadcasting Authority has ties to Imperium Europa.

In response to the legal challenge, RTK 103 and Andrew Azzopardi have launched a crowdfunding campaign to cover the legal fees associated with pursuing the case in Court.

The campaign aims to defend two fundamental principles: the right of individuals not to be discriminated against based on race or ethnicity and the crucial right to freedom of expression, integral to a free and functional media in society.

RTK 103 calls on the public to support their cause in eradicating racial hatred and safeguarding fundamental rights. Interested individuals can contribute to the crowdfunding campaign by visiting this link.