I know for certain that there are members of the bench who read me and there is nothing irregular about this. Many members of the judiciary are in fact, avid readers who read most of the interesting stuff published locally, and given that I am covering stories about their colleagues, they will undoubtedly be curious.
I want to make it clear to everyone that I am not comfortable covering the story about Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech, and I’m even more uncomfortable knowing that the Chief Justice is tolerating being pressured by Prime Minister Robert Abela to appoint his friends as judges. All my stories are verified and I don’t publish things lightly.
Rarely if ever have magistrates and judges been scrutinised by the press in Malta. Daphne Caruana Galizia used to do this freely, but I am personally not happy with this because I have various ongoing cases in court and I don’t want to be interpreted that I am writing about the judiciary as leverage for my court cases. I am very worried about this because I respect the courts and I love the legal process and I want to be treated fairly and not as someone who is pointing a gun at the judiciary. I have had great satisfaction in my life winning court cases because my lawyers and I made great arguments, and I like to relish those moments again – knowing I have won fairly on my own and my lawyers’ steam. Losing is normal when you take risks, and I lose in many things I do, but winning for being right is a great feeling I pursue in many situations in life, and I don’t get satisfaction from winning unfairly or by cheating.
I love to win because it makes me feel intelligent. As a human being, I know that most of the time I am stupid, so winning is a brief moment of existential success and enlightenment. I would never cheat in a game to win unfairly because that would not give me any satisfaction – anyone can be stupid, fraudulent, criminal, and deceiving. And it’s very easy to make money by being a criminal. For example, the easiest thing to do is run a cocaine business and become a millionaire – if you have never taken drugs, you have no idea how big and profuse the demand for cocaine is, and as a result, how profitable and easy it is to sell it.
I like making money but I like making it in my own way, legally and according to my own values. For example, I don’t even like to crowdfund because I don’t like getting donations from average salary earners. I have my principles which so far, I think, have given me enough integrity to do journalism.
I play many games in my life but, I would never dare play games with the judiciary. I am not even happy that I have the freedom to scrutinise the judiciary, but at this stage, with what I know, I feel that it is part of my remit. I want to make it absolutely clear that I am not happy I am doing this.
To scrutinise the judiciary you would have to be a person of absolute integrity with very few mistakes – a clean-polished bookish saint who comes from heaven. I don’t have a history of corruption, sexual misconduct, physical abuse, and other serious things which justifiably are enough to “cancel a person” and I am so happy I go to sleep and wake up every morning with a clean conscience. But I am not perfect either, and surely, I did stupid stuff in life that I am not proud of and that I regret doing, so I don’t expect to be this all-mighty saint who can judge judges and find faults with them.
In addition, I have always shown great respect to the judiciary whenever I was in court and have even obeyed their requests and orders when I didn’t like them – such as when I was forced to apologise to Police Inspector Sandro Camilleri in court for telling him “kiesaħ” (this happened more than ten years ago).
Having cleared that up, I will have no qualms in bringing to light the msbehavuiour and corruption of magistrates and judges like Donatella Frendo Dimech – she and magistrates like her are part of the cause of why we have an ever-deteriorating rule-of-law crisis. So, I write about Donatella Frendo Dimech as a common citizen who has usurped her role as a magistrate and I have no respect whatever for her as a member of the bench – this is why I also have no qualms in insulting her.