A 48-year-old man was fined after admitting to writing hateful comments about Inclusion Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli on social media.

The court, presided over by Magistrate Charmaine Galea, heard how Marco Vassallo had written a series of comments on a Facebook status uploaded by Farrugia Portelli about government-related work the ministry had carried out in collaboration with Family Minister Michael Falzon.

Vassallo had described Farrugia Portelli as “animal filth” and “excrement”, saying that he “hated” the ministers and accused them of “ridiculing people with disabilities”.

In her testimony, Farrugia Portelli said that these comments had been written after ministers and MPs had been subject to ridicule and were having things thrown at them on their exit from parliament.

The minister said she had also received death threats and that these cases were still being investigated by the police.

On his own admission, the court on Friday found Vassallo guilty, fined him €1,500 and ordered him not to contact or approach Farrugia Portelli for a period of three years or face a €7,000 penalty or imprisonment.

Vassallo was represented by lawyer Joe Giglio while Ramona Attard appeared for Julia Farrugia Portelli.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us