Cardona says minibar charge on hotel bill proves he was not inside German brothel

Minister is slow to convince the court of public opinion of his innocence, says it should be his accusers to present proof of their allegations in a court of law

Chris Cardona
Chris Cardona

The minister caught up in sordid allegations, as yet unverified, that he was inside a German brothel while on government business, has refused so far to publish any proof that might contradict the claims of Malta Independent columnist and blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Chris Cardona has filed multiple libel suits against her and Nationalist Party media, saying it should be his accusers who substantiate their allegations.

But in the court of public opinion, Cardona has been slow to present a strong case to defend his reputation, which he says he has been repeatedly sullied by Caruana Galizia.

Caruana Galizia claimed on Monday 30 January at 11:45pm that Cardona had been witnessed inside the FKK Acapulco brothel of Velbert, a 28-minute drive from Essen where he was staying to attend a conference.

Cardona says it was Joe Gerada, his policy officer, who informed him that same night of the allegation published on Monday 3 February claiming they were inside a brothel between 7 and 10pm.

Interviewed on TimesTalk, Cardona has denied having ever been to the establishment.

“Upon arrival late afternoon we stayed in the hotel, and we toured the city late at night and had something to eat. Upon returning to the hotel Dr Gerada told me he had forgotten my suit in his hotel room, came back and had a beer in my room. He went back to his room and I went to sleep,” Cardona said.

The minister is insisting the allegations are false, and says he has proof to back him up. “The proof I have is our word, the timeline of events, supported by proof, the filming of the conference itself which shows I was physically there and not at the brothel the next day [a second allegation published the day after by Caruana Galizia].”

Cardona reiterated that it will be Caruana Galizia, who he has filed libel proceedings against, to prove in a court of law. “It cannot be the person against whom the allegation is made to prove this is wrong, but the person making the allegation to prove it.”

So far, the PN media attempted to bolster Caruana Galizia’s claims by going up to the Velbert brothel and using a hidden camera to ask two prostitutes inside the FKK Acapulco, whether they recognised Cardona and Gerada from photos they showed them.

Cardona cited his check-in time to the hotel, the beer consumed from the hotel minibar marked on a hotel bill, that will serve as proof of his presence inside the hotel on late Monday, 3 February.

Cardona seemed unwilling to present proof immediately of his non-culpability, saying it should be his accusers to defend themselves for having published the allegations.

“A week is a long time in politics, but we are talking about something else… I don’t it affects [people’s perception of who I am]. This blogger has been publishing various allegations about me and others. For example, after a party activity yesterday I went around various [not stated] in the fifth district where I am contesting. But she said I was spending time with two men, one of whom is nicknamed ‘it-tletin’ (thirty), but she confused what her source told her and said I was with 30 men, some of whom have a criminal record. I don’t keep that kind of company.”