Judge Giovanni Bonello has been named Johnnie Walker Man of the Year, an award launched this year.

The nominees had to reflect the core brand essence of Johnnie Walker, which inspires the life story of continuous personal progress and achievement. Judge Bonello, who sits on the European Court of Human Rights, symbolised all this, a spokesman for the promoters said.

In his acceptance speech during the prize-giving ceremony held at Hilton Malta's Grand Masters' Suite, Judge Bonello spoke of man's fundamental freedoms.

It was not just a matter of freedom of expression. There were other freedoms that were just as crucial, like freedom from poverty; freedom from retribution and freedom from hunger. "Imagine speaking about freedom of expression to a person who has nothing to eat," Judge Bonello said to a standing ovation.

Judge Bonello also won the professionals category. Trevor Zahra won the arts and entertainment category; Chris Dougall the sports section and Ivan Bartolo won the business/entrepreneur category.

They were selected by a judging panel composed of Albert Fenech, Marie Therese Zammit, Winston J. Zahra, Lou Bondì and Sarah Puntan-Galea.

Readers of the Circle magazine could also vote.

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