Two sides of the coin - Lino DeBono

Two sides of the coin - Lino DeBono

Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

As there are two sides to a coin, so did Daphne Caruana Galizia. On one face she had a ferocious aspect through her excellent knowledge of English. The writing, when normally criticising people, was in such a way that it left the individuals targeted and their whole families terrorised.

She was also elitist, snobbish, believing and pretending she was of a superior level. She therefore looked down on the rest of the society.

Her complete and irrevocable hatred, above anything else, was for Labour and those with Labour sympathies. So much so that the majority of her articles were revues against everything Labour, its leaders or anything remotely connected to Labour.

The atrocious article she penned when former Labour leader Dominic Mintoff passed away, decrying him to rot in eternal hell, still remains very much an icon. Labour supporters vividly remember that.

Her hatred spins against Labour were so extreme that after the 2013 massive electoral defeat for the Nationalist Party, a committee set up by the Nationalist administration to examine the heavy defeat, said that one of the main reasons for the defeat was Caruana Galizia’s venom articles. That her articles were in fact directing the PN how and on what points they should go for. 

For those writings, she was hated by approximately four-fifths of the population.

On the other side of the coin, she was followed and almost idolised by the other one-fifth. They followed her writings blindly and with a sort of loyalty that was total and unwaivering. She was the one directing and showing the way for the PN and its leaders. The direction was accepted and taken as their own by the previous Nationalist Party leaders and her most ferocious supporters.

Caruana Galizia continued with the same policies against anything Labour even after 2013. Before and during the last election she continued with the same rhetorical writings but this time with the inclusion of criminal accusations against almost one and all.

Caruana Galizia had and was provided information by different sources from all over. She managed to manipulate the newspapers by her continuous commentaries on her website. These accusations captured citizens’ imagination and as is the norm, when one throws mud, some of it sticks.

Her main coup came when she had access before others through her international journalistic contacts regarding the Panama Papers.

This is becoming a farce and the courts should take the bull by the horns

One of her latest coups came from Russia. The Americans had a Russian connection in their last elections. In Britain there were also elements of Russian interference. So why should we in Malta also not have our own Russian intervention?

This came when a very unreliable piece of information was passed to Caruana Galizia by Maria Efimova, a Russian. They were serious accusations that €1 million had been passed to the Prime Minister’s wife. Initially, she said she first noticed the surname Muscat. Then she made one and one come to two. The same woman was also accused of theft and of slandering three police officials.

Efimova left the island saying her life was in danger. She also said threats were made in Russia to her father. In Greece, she said her life was in danger indicating involvement in the American/Russian electoral dispute.  Not what one can call a reliable witness.

Perhaps David Casa can vouch for her, as he even crossed over to Greece to declare that her life will be endangered if she came to Malta. One has to note that Casa’s life is not in danger even if he organises and openly criticises Malta and its democratic institutions.

Caruana Galizia took Efimova’s story, made it her own and published it. This most serious accusation caused so much political discord/uproar that the general election was held a year early. When one adds all these accusations without any real tangible proof, the person in the street would not wonder why Caruana Galizia had over 40 libels pending.

Caruana Galizia’s adversary political party won the election by a massive 40,000 votes. So much for people believing her story, taken on by the Nationalist propaganda machine.

Her later articles were directed mostly at criminal activities and the people involved. Dangerous waters not only for her but for anyone who enters into any massive criminal investigation on their own.

In the meantime her beloved PN was going through a leadership contest. As usual, with her strong character, she entered into this fray, accusing the main contestant of hanky-panky and also began citing his followers with their own past misdeeds.

This is where she lost her beloved PN support. New attacks came from her own quarters. She started being attacked from all fronts.

But the most dangerous in my opinion was the silent criminal element.

 It is those in the shadows that plan silently to eliminate an adversary that may endanger their activities. A move that came when least expected and former targets of her writings started accusing each other.

When Caruana Galizia was brutally murdered, the main suspects were the politicians or hardened elements in both political parties.

The PN’s newspaper initially tried to describe this as a political murder. When it started becoming clear to one and all that there were other elements for the authorities to consider, some sort of better sense started to take over. Europol, the FBI, the Dutch and local police started working on real facts.

After a while, three people were accused with her assassination. Court proceedings are still ongoing.

Speculations and PN political interference were, are and will continue, sadly both locally and abroad.

These political elements are trying to find something or someone involving a Labour Party individual.

The immense harm overseas that is being done by these individuals is irrevocable. I compare them to a newly married couple who start involving their parents, grandparents, cousins, neighbours and everyone else in a family issue. The more people get involved, the more problems crop up.

Now we are also seeing the Caruana Galizia family dictating to the authorities what, how and about what the investigations should be.

They are withholding the victim’s laptop because they deem they should not pass it over to the authorities.

The courts are keeping quiet on these issues, when it is the court that should be leading. But it appears that now we have some MEPs telling us and the Europol, the FBI, the Dutch and whoever else involved, when, how and what investigations should be done, also by whom.

This is becoming a farce and the courts should take the bull by the horns and lead with the authority invested in them by our Constitution.

Otherwise only mayhem will continue. The courts should also hurry with all the other accusations made.

This is the moment of truth for our courts and for the authorities. If one lets this farce continue only harm will come to our islands.

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