Appeal from libel judgment dismissed
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Appeal from libel judgment dismissed

An appeal lodged by columnist Daphne Caruana Galizia from a libel judgment was dismissed by Mr Justice Philip Sciberras in the Court of Appeal in its Inferior Jurisdiction this morning. Ms Caruana Galizia had been ordered by the Magistrates' Court to pay Notary Mark Sammut Lm500 in libel damages after the first court concluded that she had libelled the notary in an article published in The Malta Independent in April 2005. The article was entitled "Hey, baby, there is a pistol in my handbag". Notary Sammut told the first court that the article had alleged that he had been stopped at Malta airport when trying to embark on a plane with a pistol in his case. According to the notary, Ms Caruana Galizia had indicated that he had a specific criminal intention to take the pistol on board the aircraft with him. Notary Sammut categorically denied this allegation. Ms Caruana Galizia submitted that the article contained only proven facts and a fair comment on these facts. The Magistrates Court had concluded that Notary Sammut had not intended to carry the pistol on board with him, and therefore any negative comment made in the article about this was libellous in his regard. Lawyer Peter Fenech was counsel to Ms Caruana Galizia
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