Direct orders’ row – after Busuttil, Mallia files second Orizzont libel

MEP candidate who was partner in Simon Busuttil’s ERCS legal firm files libel against union newspaper

Nationalist candidate Stefano Mallia has presented a libel case against l-Orizzont after the newspaper published a report pointing out that the ECRS firm received €2.5 million in government contracts over the past five years.

Mallia, a director of the firm, said the report was published with the intention of tarnishing his reputation.

“The report is part of a mud-slinging campaign, aimed at both the leader of the PN, Simon Busuttil and myself,” he said.

Mallia claims l-Orizzont is implying he was solely awarded the €2.5 million, when it was a contract secured byan international company together with a company in which Mallia was director; he said ECRS’s share of the contract was of only €80,000 spread over 4 years.

“The motivation behind this is attributable to the fact that I am a candidate with the Nationalist Party for the upcoming European Elections,” Mallia said.

Mallia refused suggestions that ERCS was awarded form of preferential treatment by the previous government.

“This is not the case. I am a consultant specialised in economic and European affairs. In my profession as well as on a personal capacity, I am commissioned to give consultancy on matters related to my areas of expertise.”

The company he currently works for employs 50 people, amongst them a number of experts that from time to time are engaged to give consultancy, compile studies as well as other work including work outside of Malta.

“L-Orizzont and the Labour Party decided to focus exclusively on me by even featuring an article with my photo on the front cover of their newspaper,” Mallia said.

“This is an example of the most shameful way in which politics can be done. I entered politics to be a positive force. If anyone finds that I have acted in any way dishonestly I will withdraw my candidacy immediately because I am here to be of service to my country.

“It is a shame that the Labour Party that was so vocal about the need of fair politics that is not played out on personal levels are now conducting such personal attacks on me. It is shameful that l-Orizzont, a supposedly independent newspaper, is today participating in this mud-slinging campaign,” Mallia said.

More in National