Times journalist Ivan Camilleri confronted by Naxxar supermarket over shoplifting incident

Shoplifting incident involving Ivan Camilleri, revealed by staff monitoring CCTV, is confirmed by supermarket owner

Times journalist Ivan Camilleri
Times journalist Ivan Camilleri

The Times of Malta journalist Ivan Camilleri has been confronted by senior staff from a major supermarket in Naxxar, over an incident of shoplifting, this newspaper has learnt.

Camilleri was called to the supermarket to explain himself after company superiors were alerted to an incident caught on the supermarket’s CCTV.

Staff manning the CCTV alerted management that Camilleri had allegedly pilfered an unspecified amount of highly-priced goods.

Updated | ‘Camilleri admitted and paid back, more than what he took’ – supermarket boss

The incident was confirmed to MaltaToday by an owner of the supermarket, who refused to release a comment on the amount Camilleri repaid for the stolen goods.

The incident was only revealed to management after the shoplifting took place, leading a company official to personally contact Camilleri. Camilleri was then confronted over the incident – the journalist was said to have immediately admitted to the crime.

Witnesses said Camilleri admitted that “he should have known better considering that he was constantly reminding others of what was wrong and what is right.”

Additionally, Camilleri agreed to compensate the supermarket, an amount which could not be confirmed.

When contacted by MaltaToday, Camilleri came back with a written reply threatening legal action.

“Good morning… your info is completely incorrect, a fiction [sic] of your imagination and a blatant lie. I am looking forward for your filthy story so that my lawyers can have some nice work to do. You have to stoop much lower to tarnish my reputation and integrity. Publish this in full in your fabricated story please as my reply.”

Ivan Camilleri is a former NET and TVM journalist, whose reputation for muckraking on ministers and Labour appointees has often led him to personal, off-camera confrontations with his subjects.

In 2013, he unwisely declared to journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia that he would be ‘tearing up his vote’, an episode Caruana Galizia blogged about to hold up Camilleri as a deserter of the Nationalist Party, over the government’s inability to guarantee his wife’s employment in Brussels inside the permanent representation.

As it would later emerge, email correspondence from 2009 seen by MaltaToday showed ambassador Richard Cachia Caruana requesting a change in a legal notice to amend public sector rules to accommodate the wife of the then Brussels-based journalist, to secure her posting in the permanent representation to the European Union.

Camilleri’s wife was required to spend a mandatory eight months in Malta before being re-posted back to Brussels after the maximum term of five years nine months as technical attaché had expired.

Lawrence Gonzi at the time actually approved a short-term contract so that Camilleri’s wife could remain employed on three specific projects inside the Brussels embassy’s legal unit until January 2010. But when Camilleri’s wife failed to rank high enough for an attaché’s post on maritime affairs, her employment became untenable.

“She spoke to me about this, following an outburst from Ivan,” Cachia Caruana told Gonzi himself. “I advised her to write to the Public Service Commission, as is her right.”

The incident of ingratitude was fodder for Caruana Galizia’s rant on Camilleri, following a personal confrontation with the Times’s journalist. “She and Ivan Camilleri went out of their way to punish the very people who made it possible for them to be in Brussels in the first place, with a nice EU passport, and rewarded instead the very same team of people who busted their guts trying to keep us out of the European Union.”

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