The President on Wednesday warned that the courts and judiciary should be allowed to exercise their functions in a serene atmosphere.

It was Myriam Spiteri Debono's first official message since a magisterial inquiry concerning the Vitals hospitals deal triggered criminal charges against top political figures.

On Monday Abela held a press conference to confirm that prosecutors have filed criminal charges against his predecessor Joseph Muscat and others. Abela's deputy, Chris Fearne, as well as Central Bank Governor Edward Scicluna also face charges. 

Abela has heaped scorn on the inquiry and the magistrate who led it, saying it is biased and that sections of the judiciary are part of an "establishment" that is out to destroy the Labour Party. 

When asked by Times of Malta last week whether he would report the magistrate to the Commission for the Administration of Justice, he had instead said it was now up to the electorate to scrutinise the judiciary

His comments have earned him a rebuke from various quarters.

NGOs have described his statements as "authoritarian" and a "threat to democracy". Students gathered on Tuesday evening in solidarity with the judiciary. And on Wednesday morning, a former chief justice offered the magistrate being targeted, Gabriella Vella, his solidarity. 

On Wednesday, President Spiteri Debono spoke up.

She urged for prudence "in the choice of words spoken", adding that emotions "should not rule our heads". Such behaviour only served to cloud the reasoning faculties, she added.

"The exercise of prudence is of utmost importance," the president said.

"Our laws provide remedies in those cases where individuals feel subjected to prejudice. This also includes instances where individuals consider they have been discriminated against, and deprived of their legitimate rights."

Spiteri Debono added there were legal remedies in cases when the legal processes were in some way vitiated - a message that could be interpreted as a rebuke to Abela's repeated, public criticism of the way the inquiry and prosecutions were handled.  

"The present situations essentially require that all institutions, but particularly the courts and the judiciary, can exercise their functions in a serene atmosphere," she said.

"A calm and serene atmosphere is beneficial to all parties involved, or somehow involved."

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