A court has dismissed a libel suit filed by former GRTU director-general Vince Farrugia over an opinion piece penned in 2011 by the then head of the Malta Developers Association and former minister Michael Falzon.

Mr Farrugia had felt aggrieved by Mr Falzon’s remarks, published in Malta Today, that the GRTU had taken a “free ride” on the Malta Developers Association's lobbying in the run-up to that year’s Budget.

The court heard that following the Budget speech, the GRTU’s director general had implied that the government had partially accepted his organisation’s proposals.

In filing the libel suit, Mr Farrugia had said that the article in question had been aimed to damage his reputation and give undue credit to the MDA.

He claimed a hidden agenda on the part of MDA president Falzon and vice-president Sandro Chetcuti.

He also pointed out that Mr Chetcuti was at the time accused of trying to kill him.

Subsequently,  Mr Chetcuti was acquitted of this charge but was found guilty of slightly injuring him. Mr Farrugia was found to have approached other witnesses and is now facing perjury charges.

In its decision, the court presided by Magistrate Francesco Depasquale said the evidence indicated that  Mr Falzon’s assertions were “substantially correct”.

The court reminded the former GRTU official that as a person in the public eye he was subject to higher levels of public scrutiny. 

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