Robert Arrigo awarded libel damages
Nationalist MP Robert Arrigo has been awarded €2,500 in damages after a court concluded that he had been libelled by an email sent by Lino Farrugia to the authorities in May 2005.
Mr Arrigo claimed that an email sent by Mr Farrugia to the Ministry of Tourism, the Malta Tourism Authority, the Federated Association of Travel & Tourism Agents, the Malta Hotels & Restaurants Association and the Federation of Malta Hotels, Pensions & Caterin Establishments was libellous in his regard.
On his part Mr Farrugia claimed that the email constituted fair comment based on true facts and it was a justified complaint about Robert Arrigo & Sons Ltd.
Magistrate Gabriella Vella noted in her judgment that the email referred to Mr Arrigo's position as President of Sliema Wanderers FC. It stated that if a commercial entity did not contribute towards the football club, it would not benefit from any business from Mr Arrigo's company. The email also referred to "cowboy" tactics allegedly taken by Mr Arrigo.
Apart from being sent to the authorities in the tourism business, the email was also printed in the newspaper KullHadd.
The court concluded it clearly resulted from the evidence produced that the email was a form of retaliation or revenge on the part of Mr Farrugia and his company following commercial decisions taken by Mr Arrigo and his company a few days previously.
Robert Arrigo & Sons Ltd had moved some tourists from the Patricia Hotel (run by Mr Farrugia's company) to another hotel because of complaints received from the tourists.