Ministers and top officials on Wednesday denied a series of allegations swirling on social media about their alleged involvement in the investigation into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.
Chris Cardona, who "suspended himself" as minister on Tuesday, denied that his house was being raided by the police, after a photo of a street with three police cars outside it started making the rounds on messaging platform WhatsApp.
In a post on his personal Facebook account, Dr Cardona called an erroneous media report on the matter “fake news”.
The news report had been headlined “Is Chris Cardona’s house being searched?”.
“My reply to the irresponsible question by the church media, is no. Despite having made contact, they have persisted with fake news,” Dr Cardona wrote on Facebook.
The news report was later updated.
Another photo of police cars also spread across WhatsApp as ‘proof’ that Lands Authority chief executive James Piscopo’s house was being raided.
The tip saw journalists and photographers scramble to get to his Iklin home, only to find no one there. Mr Piscopo told Times of Malta when contacted that he had no knowledge of any raid.
Writing on Facebook, Mr Piscopo said: “This is absolutely not true. The photo shown is not even my address. I have asked the press to remove this false story.”
Farrugia 'fake news'
Then it was Home Affairs Minister Michael Farrugia's turn to call out “fake news” over Facebook.
This time, it was one of the many screenshots of phony leaks from the Caruana Galizia investigation that the minister wanted debunked.
The screenshot in question alleged that Europol had threatened to publicly announce that the Maltese police were delaying the investigation, unless further arrests were carried out.
“That is why things suddenly rolled out of their control and all got uncovered within a week,” the screenshot reads.
Dr Farrugia said the claims were “fake news”.
Businesswoman Diane Izzo of Dizz Group also had to take to Facebook to deny other rumours that began swirling on Tuesday of her being the owner of the once-secret offshore company Egrant.
Ms Izzo is a friend of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s wife Michelle. The late journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia had claimed that Egrant belonged to Ms Muscat.
“A short note to set the record straight. Anything circulating on social media about me personally and my group of companies is absolute non corroborated fake news. At no time was I called to be questioned by the police as stated in this attempt to mudsling me and my business,” she wrote.
Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.Support Us