Joe Mizzi will not collect €7,000 in damages from man guilty of libel

Prime Minister’s intervention leads to Transport Minister Joe Mizzi deciding against collecting the €7,000 from Facebook user who vented his frustration over road works

Transport Minister Joe Mizzi
Transport Minister Joe Mizzi

Transport Minister Joe Mizzi won’t be going after his pound of flesh after a court found a Facebook user guilty of libel.

Lawrence Grech, 58, from Vittoriosa was yesterday fined €7,000 for venting his frustration over road works which were being carried out two years ago. The court found that his Facebook comments against Mizzi – reportedly adorned with foul language – were defamatory.

In a statement this afternoon, the Transport Minister said he was satisfied that the court had established the facts and that what was posted on Facebook was defamatory.

He however said that he won’t be going after the €7,000 awarded to him by the court.

On his part, Grech said he was sorry for his comments and “thanked” the minister for accepting his apology.

A solution between the two sides was found following the intervention of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat: in its statement, the Transport Ministry said Grech had thanked the Prime Minister for his intervention.

In delivering the sentence, the magistrate said that wile Grech had removed the offensive post, it still had been shared with his 700 friends on Facebook.