Former MFA Vice-President Dr Peter Fenech, who is one of the two candidates for the post of President of the Malta Football Association for next Saturday’s election, announced he will be filing two libel suits against the Maltatoday newspaper and the electronic site Maltatoday.
“Reference is made to the article published on the front page of the edition of the Malta Today newspaper of today the 14th July 2013, entitled ‘Peter Fenech in impossible attempt at MFA presidency’ and to the article published in the same edition entitled ‘Dede’s supporters play down MFA rival’s transparency credentials. I Dr. Peter Fenech declare that that which is published, with reference to my tenure as Vice President of MFA between 2007 and 2010 and to the investigation that I allegedly should have carried out when I occupied the position of Chairman of the Board of Inquiry, is false, libellous and damaging. ”
“This article, purposely published in the final week of the campaign leading up to the election for the post of the President of the Malta Football Association, which I shall be contesting this coming Saturday, so as to deprive me of the opportunity to publish a right of reply six days before the election, was not aimed at providing news to the public but only to damage my reputation. ”
“Maltatoday is not new to targeting me, so much so that to date I have won three libel suits against it, and Maltatoday was condemned by Court to pay me the sum of eighteen thousand euros together with interest by way of damages, a sum which to date remains unpaid. It seems that this amount of damages for libellous and damaging journalism is not enough for the Maltatoday newspaper, which persists in damaging my reputation by attributing false statements in my regards. The main reason why articles such as the ones published today continue to be published is the limitation in the amount of damages awarded under the Press Law. The time has come for these thresholds to be revised in order to compel editors to publish only facts and to dissuade them from using their publications in order to attack and slander persons without any basis. ”
“Since the facts published are false, I shall tomorrow (Monday) morning be filing two libel suits against the Maltatoday newspaper and the electronic site Maltatoday. ”
“I declare, as I have previously publicly declared in the newspaper edition of the Times of Malta of the 9th February 2013, that I never received a letter from Norman Darmanin Demajo to investigate any allegation which he wished to raise. During a council meeting of the MFA, I had come to know that the General Secretary had received three letters, one of which apparently was addressed to the Board of Inquiry of which I was Chairman; however this letter was never brought to my attention nor was it passed on to me, and to date I have never seen such letter. The President had mentioned the matter in the Council, and had proposed that since there were or were about to be prsented libel suits before the Courts concerning these allegations, MFA should not investigate and should allow the Courts to investigate the matter. The Council had agreed with this proposal and therefore I was never given access to the content of the letter in question. I also must add that the Board of Inquiry does not have the authority to investigate every complaint which it receives since in terms of article 68(1) of the MFA Statute, the Board can only initiate an inquiry if so directed by the President, or by the Executive or Council of the MFA. ”
“Any other comment would be superfluous at this stage, other than that this was another attempt to attack my creditability without any basis and to damage my reputation in the final stages of the campaign leading up to next week’s election which I shall be contesting.”