In January, significant milestones were reached in untangling the web of deceit spun against Minister for Tourism Konrad Mizzi, by Simon Busuttil, David Casa, and others in the old PN guard.
The Criminal Court has determined that the allegations of money laundering in connection with the Panama Papers revelations are mere speculation. In the absence of evidence (and there is none), the court dismissed Busuttil's mud slinging as nothing but conjecture.
In utmost contempt of the ruling, and disrespecting the Court, Simon Busuttil and David Casa sought further action by the Court of Magistrates. They again asked for an investigation which had just been declared as unwarranted and baseless by the Criminal Court. Not surprisingly, the Court of Magistrates saw through the ploy and dismissed the second request. It declared that there is no uncertainty in the prevailing legal situation – the courts had already decreed conclusively that Busuttil and Casa's allegations are no valid basis for a criminal inquiry.
Clearly, Simon Busuttil and his acolytes sought a platform to remain politically relevant after a humiliating defeat at the 2017 polls. They have now collected further defeats in the Courts of Law.
Defending against baseless allegations and repelling slander takes both and emotional and administrative toll. Yet Minister Mizzi has delivered major change by leading the shift of Malta's power plants from dirty fuel oil to clean gas, the attraction of the largest foreign direct investment into an ailing national energy company, which has now registered profits, the closure of old and polluting power plants, major reduction in emissions and particulate matter, the building of a new Medical Unit block at Mater Dei Hospital, the eradication of out of stock medicines, the diversification of tourism markets, and record number of arrivals and the ongoing turnaround of Airmalta, Malta's national carrier.
In view of the outright rejection of the allegations by the Courts of Law, Minister Mizzi notes that it has now been determined that there is no evidence supporting allegations of wrongdoing. Using media law to punish those who made such allegations would serve no purpose greater than that which has already been decided by the Courts.
Consequently, Minister Mizzi will be withdrawing several related libel cases. While some defendants may rejoice to know that they will not shoulder a monetary cost for their lies, it should also be clear to them that they already lost their political credibility.
By withdrawing distracting libel cases, Minister Mizzi can focus greater energy on delivering projects in areas which will continue to provide a significant boost to the economy and to make a positive change to the lives of Maltese families.