‘Tumas’ family should not be made moral lepers, journalism foundation says

Tumas Fenech foundation writes letter to Institute of Malta Journalists after it removes representation from board of trustees

File photo of FTFEG members Anthony Debono, President emeritus Ugo Mifsud Bonnici, and Malcolm Naudi
File photo of FTFEG members Anthony Debono, President emeritus Ugo Mifsud Bonnici, and Malcolm Naudi

The Tumas Fenech Foundation for Education in Journalism has defended its name in the aftermath of the Institute of Maltese Journalists’ removal of its two members as trustees on the foundation.

The two members in question had already tendered their resignation from the IGM, which had not yet appointed any replacements to the board of trustees.

But the FTFEG has stood by its name, despite the arrest of former Tumas director Yorgen Fenech - grandson of company founder Tumas Fenech - as a person of interest in the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, calling the IGM’s move “misdirected”.

READ MORE • Tumas foundation for journalism now deals with a tarnished name

“One must say that the family of the late Tumas Fenech, who has supported the Foundation throughout the years since its inception, cannot be considered as moral lepers in view of the involvement of one of its members, Yorgen Fenech, in the investigation into the assassination of the late journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia. Yorgen Fenech, as rightly pointed out in your letter, is still presumed innocent. However, even if in the event that one member of the Tumas Fenech Family is found guilty, the same family should not be criminalised,” the FTFEG said in a letter to IGM secretary Nigel Vella.

FTFEG honorary secretary Malcolm Naudi, a former president of the IGM, said the foundation had been beneficial in the field of education for journalism, and should not suspend its work simply because one member of the Tumas Fenech Family is under investigation. “The assassination of a courageous journalist should ignite our anger, and indeed sustain our determination in seeing that Maltese journalists would not be conditioned into fear from performing their duty in the discovery of the truth.”

“One understands your indignation, but with all due respect, your decision is misdirected. We hope that you will realise that your representatives still have an important role to play within the Foundation in achieving its sole aim: that of enhancing the cultural formation of our journalists,” Naudi told Vella.

“We have, therefore, decided to continue striding forward, notwithstanding the present difficulties, determined to continue with our role in the enhancement of education in journalism in our country.”

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