Times of Malta has filed a counter-protest against Gordon-John Manché after he posted a court application demanding that articles linking his Christian evangelical community to the alleged murderer of a Polish woman are taken down from the website. 

Pastor Manché filed a judicial protest against Times of Malta’s editor-in-chief Herman Grech, journalists Ivan Martin, Jessica Arena, Matthew Xuereb and Edwina Brincat and columnist Wayne Flask. 

He referred to eight articles, dating between January 3 and December 7, claiming they were “made up” and that they were attributing “false facts and misinformation” where it concerned himself and his Nations for Christ Ministries Foundation (River of Love). He claims the reports imply that his community somewhat led people to commit atrocities and that conversion therapy is somewhat practised.

Manché held Times of Malta responsible for what he says are damages suffered by his community and therefore demanded that the articles are removed from Times of Malta’s website. He also requested a ‘right of reply’.

In its counter-protest, Times of Malta said the judicial protest was unfounded and that the reports cited were built on facts, some of which were posted by Manché himself on social media.

Others were derived from impartial court reports or opinion pieces as allowed by the law.

“If the applicant feels slandered from any false statements, he should identify them and explain how he feels slandered,” said the counter-protest signed by lawyer Paul Micallef Grimaud. 

Abner Aquilina was charged with the brutal murder of Paulina Dembska in Sliema on January 2. Aquilina had attended a River of Love meeting just hours before he raped and killed the 29-year-old.

In court, last month, Aquilina’s lawyer claimed that a friend and fellow River of Love member tried to sexually abuse his client on the night when he allegedly murdered Dembska. 

The articles that Manché wants to be removed are the following:

River of Love distances itself from Sliema murder suspect

Murder suspect Abner Aquilina had history of online sexual harassment

Police question River of Love members about links to Sliema murder suspect

'You'll be terrorised for eternity', Gordon Manché warns journalist, activist

Still no clear motive established hours before Sliema murder suspect is charged

Sliema murder suspect attacked two men before killing Dembska

Abner Aquilina's lawyer: friend tried to abuse him on night of Dembska murder

They who slither - Wayne Flask

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