Columnist tells court of ‘police tip-off over minister’s embrace’
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Columnist tells court of ‘police tip-off over minister’s embrace’

Columnist Daphne Caruana Galizia told a court she had been tipped off by a “very high-ranking police officer” that Energy Minister Konrad Mizzi had intimately embraced his communications coordinator Lindsey Gambin.

Daphne Caruana Galizia said a top police officer gave her a tip-off.Daphne Caruana Galizia said a top police officer gave her a tip-off.

Ms Caruana Galizia was testifying before Magistrate Francesco Depasquale in a libel suit initiated against her by Ms Gambin about an article uploaded online in November last year. The unnamed police officer has since taken early retirement.

Lawyer Andrew Sciberras, appearing for Ms Gambin, asked Ms Caruana Galizia whether she had verified that Ms Gambin was involved in an extramarital relationship with Dr Mizzi. “These situations are very hard to verify,” Ms Caruana Galizia replied, adding that she had no reason to doubt her source.

The police officer told her he had seen them at the bar of the Tiffany Champagne and Cigar room at Portomaso, drinking champagne. It was at night, they were sitting next to each other and their body language was not that of a minister and his personal assistant. They were also kissing, she said. An AFM officer, the blogger continued, had also recently called her at midnight, saying that Dr Mizzi was at a Valletta bar “with a woman”.

These situations are very hard to verify

Suspecting her to be Ms Gambin, Ms Caruana Galizia said she sent her source a photo of the communications coordinator to confirm whether it was her. He said it was.

This was a matter of public interest, argued Caruana Galizia. “We are talking about a minister, who is also very close to the Prime Minister and who since March 2013 has not stopped making mistakes.”

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