Updated 3pm with Robert Aquilina comment

A Labour MEP candidate has asked the police to investigate a man who insulted Joseph Muscat and Robert Abela on Facebook for hate speech.

Daniel Attard filed a police report on Tuesday morning, arguing that Godfrey Leone Ganado had breached Article 82A of the Criminal Code in two comments he published online on Monday.

Leone Ganado wrote of Muscat and Abela that he hoped “the unexplained wealth they accumulated off our backs will crumble to dust and bury them together with their families in a pit of smelly shit”. 

In a subsequent comment, he added: “When dealing with this trash you need to call a spade a spade, and after all, you need a spade to lift shit”.

Leone Ganado posted those comments beneath a post published by Repubblika president Robert Aquilina.

Aquilina said he dissociated himself and Repubblika from the comments and Leone Ganado, and that he had deleted the comments as soon as he became aware of them. 

The comments drew criticism from various quarters on social media, and on Tuesday morning Attard said he wanted Leone Ganado, whom he described as “part of the extremist Repubblika clique”, prosecuted.

“I will insist on action being taken against anyone who thinks they are above the law, and to ensure justice is equal for all,” Attard said following his criminal report.

Leone Ganado is no stranger to controversy: in 2020 he lost a libel suit after he likened MP Rosianne Cutajar to a prostitute.

“Hamalli, prostitutes and call girls have a right to be represented in parliament,” he wrote of the Qormi MP.

A magistrate ruled that the comment impinged on Cutajar’s reputation and ordered Leone Ganado to pay her €800 in damages.

Repubblika president Robert Aquilina clarified on Tuesday afternoon that Leone Ganado was not a member of Repubblika. He quit the association after  being threatened with expulsion when he made similar comments in the past, Aquilina said. 

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