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My comments on Daphne taken out of context, says Tony Zarb

Former union boss says he didn't want to give wrong impression

Former General Workers’ Union general secretary and government consultant Tony Zarb said his controversial comments on Daphne Caruana Galizia had been “taken out of context”.

In a short video clip making the rounds on social media, Mr Zarb said “the most important thing for our Malta is that Ms Caruana Galizia never returns”.

Mr Zarb told the Times of Malta people were only seeing a short clip and not the full version of the video.

He also insisted that he was repeating what someone else had told him.

“I was speaking to someone in a cafe and he said all these things. I was only repeating what he was saying,” Mr Zarb said.

However, he refused to identify who the other man was.

I was speaking to someone in a cafe and he said all these things

Mr Zarb’s comments led to former Nationalist Party general secretary Paul Borg Olivier to renew his calls for Mr Zarb to be stripped of his Gieħ ir-Repubblika award.

Mr Zarb also said he did not wish to give the impression that he wanted Ms Caruana Galizia to die or be killed.

“But I did not drink champagne when Dom Mintoff died and I never wrote about the Prime Minister’s children,” he said, referring to blog posts by Daphne Caruana Galizia.

In the video clip, Mr Zarb also hit out at activists, urging them to “carry on with their antics”.

He said he was hurt by anyone who tried to tarnish Malta’s reputation abroad and said he would not stand for it.

This is not the first time that the former GWU general secretary hit out at activists. When Occupy Justice women took to Castille Place to protest, Mr Zarb compared them to prostitutes, after which Dr Borg Olivier had made a similar request to the President.

Equality Minister Helena Dalli had at the time condemned the “disparaging comments” made by Mr Zarb.

His comments had also drew outrage from human rights NGO Aditus Foundation, who urged the women to file a report with the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality, since being called a prostitute could qualify as harassment.

Mr Zarb eventually removed his post and apologised to “genuine women” irked by his comments.

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