Busuttil requests urgent hearing of five libel cases

Opposition leader requests urgent court hearing of libel cases against GWU and Labour media, arguing that it is 'in the public interest for the turth to out as soon as possible'

Opposition leader Simon Busuttil has filed a court application, requesting that his five recent libel cases against the GWU and Labour Part media be heard as quickly as possible.

“I am not afraid of the truth and I have requested these cases to be heard urgently to put to bed the utter lie that I have blackmailed the Gaffarena family,” Busuttil said in a statement. “Blackmail is a criminal act, and this is a serious accusation to lay at the Opposition leader’s doorstep. It is therefore in the public interest for the truth to out as soon as possible.

“I hope that the court accepts my request and that the liars get to shoulder responsibility rather than hide behind court delays.”

In response, Labour said that Busuttil "clearly tried to hide the fact that certain words were spoken during meetings in his office”.

“If he had nothing to hide, then he would have mentioned this meeting before the story was reported,” the PL said in a statement. “Busuttil should stop playing like a lawyer and explain the close links between the PN and the people it is insulting.” 

Busuttil’s five lawsuits against GWU-owned newspapers L-Orizzont and It-Torca and Labour media ONE TV and ONE Radio relate to reports that the PN leader had asked businessman Joe Gaffarena to pass on documents related to the Daewoo scandal.

It-Torca on Sunday claimed that in the run-up to the 2013 general election, Busuttil had met Gaffarena and asked for “documents related to the Daewoo scandal” in exchange for a permit for his illegally-built petrol station in Qormi.

MEPA eventually granted Gaffarena a permit for the J. Gaff Service Station in 2014, under the new Labour government.

His son Marco, is at the centre of a storm over a €1.65 million expropriation deal for half a property in Valletta that he benefitted from.

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