The Shift News editor has filed an application requesting a magistrate to examine the testimony of Saviour Balzan, managing editor of Media Today, in court on 8 October for perjury and to assess whether it amounts to contempt of court.
The application filed by Caroline Muscat before Magistrate Rachel Montebello on 10 October refers to a report by Malta Today two days earlier quoting statements made by Balzan in her regard.
Balzan was testifying in court in a libel suit filed by her brother, John Muscat, against Malta Today and sister newspaper Illum in October 2018.
In her application, Muscat referred to a piece published on Malta Today’s news portal where Balzan was specifically quoted as saying that The Shift had published leaks from investigations into Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination. The news report further quotes Balzan stating that Muscat’s brother was the source of the leaks – the subject of the libel case filed against Malta Today and Illum.
This was nothing but “an absolute lie”, Muscat said in her application to the court, adding that she was able to confirm under oath that there was no article or publication on The Shift News that came from, or made use of, any leaks alleged by Balzan.
However, she noted that the Malta Today article by Matthew Agius was of necessity a report of what Balzan testified and not the official court record. Consequently, Muscat requested the court to examine its records for the exact words of his testimony and, if it resulted that he really did make false claims, she called on the court to take civil and criminal action against him for perjury and contempt of court.
Lawyer Andrew Borg Cardona signed the application.