Opinion: Abela never learns

David de Pape was condemned to 30 years imprisonment.  In October 2022, he broke into US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s house, intent on holding her hostage and “breaking her knee caps”.  Pelosi wasn’t home.

Instead, he found her octogenarian husband and proceeded to bludgeon him with a hammer, knocking him unconscious.  The repeated blows to his head left him with skull fractures requiring lifesaving surgery.

He made a slow recovery and remains with permanent plates and screws in his skull. De Pape showed no remorse. He was proud of what he’d accomplished.

His horrific attack on Paul Pelosi was motivated by Donald Trump’s hostile rhetoric. De Pape was caught up in conspiracy theories that falsely claimed the 2020 election had been stolen from Trump and misinformation about the 6 January insurrection and Nancy Pelosi’s role.

De Pape’s horrifically violent actions were instigated by Trump’s lies.

In Malta, another party leader is inciting his loyal supporters and fuelling misinformation about a member of the judiciary who completed the onerous task of investigating the biggest fraud in Malta’s history.

Robert Abela embarked on a crusade of falsehoods against the magistrate. He accused her of political terrorism, trying to influence the outcome of the European Parliament elections, attempting to paralyse the government, being biased, and seeking to inflict “maximum political harm”.

He claimed she set out to find Joseph Muscat guilty and then worked back to prove it.

Abela’s using his powerful media organisation, ONE, to incite Labour supporters against the magistrate.  Her photo is regularly uploaded onto the party’s “news” items with one clear objective – to intimidate and harass her.

The 627 comments on ONE’s Facebook page following one of those anti-magistrate headlines make for disturbing reading.  “The magistrate is complicit, a real mafia – we already know what she wrote, we don’t need to wait, she’s complicit with the establishment,” one comment read.

Another chimed in, “Whoever isn’t going to vote is helping this ugly thing reach her objective and that of her party”.

Others were far more chilling: “When in need, we found Joseph; now it’s our turn to support him.  Let us stop this political terrorist”.

“You won’t see the face of God”.

“Go and despair, you spittle,” another wrote.

“She’s trash, dirt, a hypocrite.”

“This devil destroyed the court.”

“Unless we remove the bad thorns, we will see no fruit.”

Abela is playing with fire.  A Maltese de Pape won’t take much to take Abela’s lies to heart and act.

If a solitary de Pape managed to break into the well-protected home of the US House Speaker, getting at the defenceless Vitals magistrate wouldn’t be an insurmountable challenge.

Abela knows exactly what he’s doing. That’s shocking enough.  What’s worse is that when asked whether he would condemn Labour’s media for publishing the magistrate’s photos, Abela flatly refused, instead launching a tirade against the journalist.

“You ask me a question which the establishment asked yesterday, and then you condemn me for saying that your media house is part of the establishment.  If somebody thinks that part of the Earth fell because a photo of somebody with a public role vested with powers such as the administration of justice… even you show clips of the judiciary in their inaugural session,” Abela said.

“The public has a right to be informed of who took the decisions in every case,” he insisted.

Abela must know that he’s playing Russian roulette with somebody else’s life.  Why does he do it?

First, because Abela’s self-interest trumps everybody else’s. He’s ready to jeopardise the magistrate’s safety, damage the country and wreck its democracy as long as he gets his way.

Secondly, because he knows he’ll get away with it. After all, Glenn Bedingfield, who uploaded photos of assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia’s car with the number plate clearly visible, wasn’t penalised for his despicable and dangerous actions.

Instead, Abela promoted him to Cabinet, making him parliamentary secretary, something even Joseph Muscat did not do.

The same Bedingfield ran a programme on ONE TV called ‘Tanatnejn’ with Luke Dalli, son of EU Commissioner Helena Dalli who felt entitled to become President.

On his blog, while working for the Office of the Prime Minister, Bedingfield depicted Caruana Galizia as a lying witch concocting evil. Bedingfield didn’t face any repercussions for his recklessness.

The Caruana Galizia inquiry placed the blame squarely on the Cabinet for enabling her assassination. Yet nobody in that Cabinet bothered.  Nobody resigned.  Nobody paid any price.

Former President George Vella insolently refused to accept responsibility for his part. Instead of doing the decent thing and stepping down, he stubbornly hung on as Head of State till the end of his term.

“The State created an atmosphere where anyone who wanted to eliminate her could do so with the least possible consequences,” the inquiry concluded.

The report identified “an extended culture of impunity not only among high officials in public administration, including persons of trust, but also to a restricted circle of politicians, businessmen and criminals”.

That inquiry board condemned the “sustained campaign of hate and personal attacks against Caruana Galizia, incidents of verbal abuse, harassment and stalking”.

Nothing has changed since, except the target of Labour’s venom. The Labour administration created a “web of control” to neutralise Caruana Galizia’s revelations about serious corruption.

We all know how that ended – Caruana Galizia was assassinated, but incontrovertible evidence keeps surfacing, proving that she was right.

Now that the magistrate concluded an inquiry that will confirm more of Caruana Galizia’s revelations,  Labour’s “web of control” is trying to neutralise her too.

What is deeply disturbing is that despite Caruana Galizia’s horrific end, Abela keeps using the same dangerous tactics.

No decent man would do that. Abela hasn’t learnt, cannot learn, and will never learn. Let’s hope Malta has no de Papes.


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A. Fan
A. Fan
1 month ago

The common denominators between Labour’s true believers and the MAGA nation appear to be woeful ignorance and credulity, compounded by a hereditary aversion to education. Sadly, ‘social media’ and various captive news outlets are providing a pulpit for populist demagogues all over the democratic West to spread their self-serving dogma.

Since the disinformation genie obviously cannot be coaxed back in the bottle, all future consumers of ‘information’ need to be taught critical thinking from an early age. And an appreciation for what used to pass for good manners.

Michael Satariano
Michael Satariano
1 month ago

What is truly amazing is that in Malta a Maltese satirist is prosecuted for hate speech for joking about a tele-evangelist, yet the police haven’t moved an inch against the real threats being posted on Facebook against a magistrate who is ultimately just doing her job and is who is precluded from making any counter-comments due to the position she holds.

1 month ago

This is truly a sobering read. We will end up with blood being shed again at this rate. This level of intolerance is going to get out of hand unless the prime minister reins himself and his minions in.

1 month ago

Robber doesn’t learn because he thinks he knows everything already

1 month ago

The superman steroids are taking their toll.

joseph tedesco
joseph tedesco
28 days ago


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