in

EU anti-fraud office dumps Malta Today allegations against MEP David Casa

Saviour Balzan Malta Today

Accusations made against PN MEP David Casa that were later found to have been created in the office of the Managing Editor of Media Today, Saviour Balzan, a few hours before being published on its Sunday paper, will not be investigated by the EU’s anti-fraud office.

OLAF has decided against investigating Casa for misuse of funds, according to the official reply received by Lovin Malta. They were based on claims made by a former aide known to have a string of debts as a result of his habits, published on Malta Today.

It later emerged that the evidence was created in the office of the editor himself a few hours before publication, as revealed by The Times of Malta.

Read more: Evidence is not created in a newsroom

“It appears that when all else failed these obscene allegations were resorted to in order to attempt to stop me from doing my work. While I have always said that the allegations were completely false, the declaration by OLAF proves that the allegations against me were being made for one reason: to tarnish my reputation in an attempt to hinder my work to combat corruption and money laundering,” Casa said.

The newspaper had admitted that the evidence on which it had relied to publish allegations of wrongdoing against the Opposition’s Head of Delegation were created in Balzan’s office.

In an attempt to pre-empt The Times of Malta’s report, Malta Today had published a quick admission that the affidavit by the former aide as well as the subsequent letters were written on Malta Today equipment at Malta Today’s offices.

The newspaper had reported the story as front page news, referring to documents “seen by the paper” as opposed to documents created in the editor’s office.

saviour balzan manufactured evidence

When The Times of Malta had exposed this fact, Balzan had attempted to emulate government tactics against its critics. He attacked other journalists, saying that the findings were nothing more than a plot by Casa’s aides to discredit the whistleblower and cover up wrongdoings.

Balzan, and his papers, have been associated with controversial stories intended to prop up the government backed by weak or no evidence – in this case, the evidence was manufactured.

Casa said that in the coming weeks ahead of the European elections, he was expecting more mud to be thrown against him: “These people will do everything to continue to operate to the detriment of the people of Malta and Gozo. But no threat, lie or allegation will stop me from doing my job.”

Ruben Vardanyan

MEPs call for sanctions against Russian banker who threatened The Shift News

Malta’s lack of action on Panama Papers leading to backlash against journalists