Henley and Partners, the company awarded a multi million-euro contract to act as agents of Malta’s cash-for-citizenship scheme with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat as its salesman, has threatened to take legal action against The Shift in the US and the UK, unless an article about the British company’s alleged involvement in a scandal in Grenada is removed.
In a letter sent to The Shift dated 21 December, Henley and Partners demanded this news portal remove the article in question entitled, Henley and Partners involved in Grenada Diplomatic Passport Scandal, by 1pm the following day.
“If this article is not withdrawn, regrettably, we will have no choice but to consider appropriate
next steps, including legal action. We ask you to confirm by 13:00 on 22 December 2017 that this article has been removed in its entirety, including any related social media posts,” Henley and Partners said in its letter to The Shift.
“We want to make it clear that Henley and Partners and the Government of Grenada have repeatedly and categorically denied any involvement in the purported attempt to obtain diplomatic passports from Grenada or indeed anywhere else.”
Henley and Partners also stated, in bold and caps at the start of the letter, that the letter was not to be made public.
The Shift defended its stand, informing Henley and Partners that the letter would be published.
The Shift also made it clear that any further attempts to threaten its right to freedom of expression in a democratic society “shall be reacted to in the fullest manner allowed by law”.
Demanding the removal of the article, Henley and Partners’ head of public relations Sarah Nicklin wrote “there is simply no basis for these false claims and the publication and re-publication of this fabricated story, along with suggestions that Henley & Partners is in some way connected to the barbaric and brutal murder of the Maltese blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia, are subject to review and further action by our lawyers in the USA and UK, where such defamatory and demonstrably false articles are actionable in court.”
The Shift replied: “the assertions you make insofar as concerns the connection between the activities of your company and the murder of Ms Caruana Galizia arise out of your own perceptions and concerns and not out of any comment or reporting contained in the article.”
Henley and Partners’ letter and The Shift’s reply are reproduced in full in the pdf files below.