A newspaper editor has been cleared of libel after a magistrate found that an email he had published was factually correct.

Magistrate Francesco Depasquale found that former Il-Mument editor Victor Camilleri had not libelled former Marsascala council executive secretary Joseph Caruana.

Mr Caruana had filed a libel against the paper which published an email from former mayor Mario Calleja to the Department for Local Government in which he informed them about irregularities in the tender process for the provision of litter bins.

The libel suit had also been filed against Mr Calleja but the court ruled that he had nothing to do with the publication of the email he had sent.
The court heard how Mr Caruana had taken home two bids the council had received for the tender in question. In view of this, the council had stopped the process, with the mayor informing the authorities that the process had been “vitiated”.

The newspaper had published the email on January 24, 2010, and a week later published Mr Caruana’s letter explaining what had happened.

Handing down judgment, Magistrate Depasquale ruled that what the newspaper had published was not libellous and neither was it tarnishing Mr Caruana’s reputation as his role as executive secretary, made him subject to public scrutiny. He therefore turned down his request and cleared the newspaper of libel.

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