Malta’s Education Minister has withdrawn the call for the resignation of National Book Council Chairman Mark Camilleri over a spat on Facebook with one of murder suspect Yorgen Fenech’s lawyers.
“Greatly humbled and honoured by your overwhelming support. I was in touch with Minister Justyne Caruana early this morning and I apologised for embarrassing her with my foul language and she withdrew the call for my resignation. We will proceed to sign Education Exception tom,” Camilleri wrote on Twitter.
Camilleri was asked to resign yesterday by the Education Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Frank Fabri. However, he remained defiant announcing he would call the National Writers’ Congress so that local publishers and authors can decide whether or not he should step down.
“We agreed that the Congress will be postponed, however, I still intend to open the call for the head of the Book Council unto the Congress because this issue needs to be settled once and for all. I also have no doubt I would be ahead given the support I received yesterday,” Camilleri has since said.
Caruana herself has only recently been brought back into the fold after being forced to resign over her estranged husband’s links to Yorgen Husband. Silvio Valletta, who was serving as Deputy Police Commissioner, is believed to have leaked information from the investigation into the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia
The controversy erupted after Camilleri defended the public inquiry linked to the assassination, which has since been extended into the new year despite the government’s reluctance to do so.
“Those who are scared of public inquiries and the truth have a lot to hide,” he wrote. “Public inquiries aren’t there to serve political interests. I’m very pleased that, thanks to this public inquiry, we’ve found out about many more new truths and I wholly support the judiciary panel as they continue working towards the truth.”
Fenech’s lawyer, Juliette Galea chimed in, linking him to an article which quoted her recent demand for the suspension of the public inquiry on the grounds that it’s breaching her client’s rights.
In her letter to several Maltese authorities, Galea questioned why the inquiry board is composed of two retired judges and one sitting judge, arguing that the legal concept of a public inquiry “was birthed as an upshot of parliamentary accountability and ought to have nothing to do with a judicial process”.
“Here is the link to the letter. Read it all. It explains how a public inquiry should be done and why it’s not judicial. You’re saying stupid things,” she told Camilleri.
Camilleri told her to “shove this letter up her arse”, Galea called him stupid, and the Book Council chairman proceeded to publish the entire exchange on his wall.
Galea then took it a step forward, calling Camilleri an “ignoramus” and saying he should be fired from the Malta Book Council. Camilleri retorted by saying that she “could kiss my glorious, brown Marxist ass”.
Camilleri’s post was then reported to Facebook for alleged ‘harassment’, and the social media giant responded by blocking him from posting.
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