DB Group owner Silvio Debono and the Caruana Galizia family have reached a settlement that effectively ends 19 libel suits which the business mogul had filed against Daphne Caruana Galizia four years ago.
Debono had filed all lawsuits in March 2017, seven months before the journalist was killed in a car bomb explosion outside her Bidnija home, in response to articles Caruana Galizia published about the highly controversial ITS land deal at St Geoge's Bay.
The land is to be turned into a mega-development, dubbed City Centre, by Debono's DB Group.
Following her murder, Caruana Galizia's husband and three sons subsequently stepped into the ongoing civil proceedings as respondents.
However, years after proceedings began, Debono told three judges presiding over a public inquiry into Caruana Galizia's murder that he was not “a vengeful man” and wanted to find a compromise.
“I wanted to defend my rights and I am sure we can find a compromise,” Debono testified last November when asked to explain why he had felt the need to file all those cases against the journalist.
Following that statement, an agreement was thrashed out between the litigants and their lawyers to end the dispute.
The agreement, concluded in late March, sees Debono agree to withdraw all cases and all claims against the journalist’s heirs. The Caruana Galizia family, on their part, agreed to withdraw all pleas filed against Debono.
That settlement agreement was duly signed and a copy of it filed in the records of the cases earlier this month.
Following that the court, presided over by magistrate Victor George Axiak, decreed each of the lawsuits as formally ceded.