[WATCH] Chris Cardona not excluding restoring brothelgate libel proceedings

“It is not excluded, but there are many elements to consider” - says minister on brothelgate libel case instituted against Daphne Caruana Galizia

Chris Cardona on brothelgate libel case
Chris Cardona on brothelgate libel case
Economy Chris Cardona said he was still considering his options in relation to the libel cases over allegations that he visited a German brothel last year (File Photo)
Economy Chris Cardona said he was still considering his options in relation to the libel cases over allegations that he visited a German brothel last year (File Photo)

Economy Minister Chris Cardona is not excluding reactivating libel proceedings against Daphne Caruana Galizia’s heirs, following yesterday’s decision by the court to cancel the cases.

The proceedings were instituted by Cardona and his aide Joseph Gerada after Caruana Galizia had claimed back in January 2017, that the pair had visited a brothel in Germany while on official government business.

During yesterday’s sitting, the lawyer representing the Caruana Galizia family asked for the cases to be cancelled on the basis of Cardona not having appeared in court to testify on a number of occasions.

The court proceeded to order the cancellation of the cases on the basis of Article 199 of the Code of Organization and Civil Procedure, which empowers the court to accept a request by the defendant to be freed from judgment, if the plaintiff fails to appear in court.

Read more: Cardona won’t pursue brothel libel after court strikes off case on defence’s request

Despite the cases being cancelled, the provisions of the law allow for it to be restored by means of an application filed by the plaintiff, in this case Cardona, within three months of cancellation.

Asked by MaltaToday whether he intended to do so in order to clear his name from the allegations made by Caruana Galizia, Cardona said that his legal team was currently evaluating his options.

“It appears that Daphne Caruana Galizia’s heirs are not in Malta so these are the circumstance we must evalutate as a legal team and we will take it from there,” Cardona said, adding that he was not exluding restoring the cases.

“It is not excluded, but there are many elements to consider as I said in the press statement issued yesterday.”

He went on to say that in addition to the legal merits of the case, there were other aspects to consider, especially given that Caruana Galizia’s heirs were not in Malta. “I can’t understand how anyone can expect me to file a case against someone who is not in Malta.”

In a statement issued on Thursday evening, the economy ministry said that “the decision taken by the Magistrate was final, and therefore the minister’s cases had to be concluded today”.

While the court ordered the cancellation of the libel suits filed by Cardona, those instituted by Joseph Gerada, the minister’s advisor and alleged accomplice, still stand and in its statement, the ministry added that Cardona’s lawyer had “proceeded to file the application and evidence planned to be filed in all the related libel cases, in the cases instituted by the minister’s advisor, Dr Joseph Gerada.”

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