Maltese media would be protected from expensive overseas lawsuits and the Maltese courts would be given exclusive jurisdiction over the media in Malta in terms of a law proposed on Tuesday by Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi, shadow minister for justice.

His private member's bill, if approved, will ban the execution in Malta of any judgment against Maltese media given abroad. 

The bill is intended to prevent lawsuits, known as SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit  Against Public Participation) which aim to intimidate media - including electronic media - by subjecting them to exorbitant legal expenses. 

READ: ‘State has to protect the freedom of the media’

READ: SLAPP down companies bullying free press, MEPs urge Commission 

PN deputy leader David Agius said the private bill followed attempts by  Henley & Partners and Pilatus Bank to threaten Maltese journalists with expensive legal action. The real intention behidn the threatwened lawsuits was to intimidate the journalists and silence the independent press.

Dr Azzopardi said SLAPP procedures were not only an abuse against the free press, but also violated the people's right to know.

Read the text of the private member's motion on pdf below.

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