The former editor of the Labour newspaper KullHadd and a reporter, were today fined €2,500 on conviction of libel, and another €1,800 for unduly delaying a case in court.
The judgement was given in the case instituted by Dr Peter Fenech against Felix Agius and reporter Aleander Balzan.
Dr Fenech felt aggrieved by an article published on February 25, 2008 where it was claimed that a company which belonged to him had a debt of €256,217 regarding a lease of a lido in Tigne' written off after intervention by Lawrence Gonzi in view of Dr Fenech's connections with the PN. Dr Fenech said the company VAB did not belong to him. He was a director with a single share among thousands in a company which in turn owned VAB. He also denied that any debts were forgiven.
In finding the journalists guilty of libel, the court also fined them for delaying the case. It noted that Dr Fenech had presented his case in two sittings, while the defendants did not show up or requested postponement in 18 sittings.
The court said it was disappointed at the disloyal manner how the postponements were requested, saying this was detrimental to the judicial system and its efficiency,
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