MaltaToday previous editions

MALTATODAY 26 September 2021

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 1 of 51

2 maltatoday | SUNDAY • 26 SEPTEMBER 2021 NEWS Thank you... for having bought this newspaper mt The good news is that we're not raising the price of our newspaper We know times are still hard, but we have pledged to keep giving our readers quality news they deserve, without making you pay more for it. So thank you, for making it your MaltaToday Support your favourite newspaper with a special offer on online PDF subscriptions. Visit or scan the QR code Subscriptions can be done online on Same-day delivery at €1 for orders up to 5 newspapers per address. Subscribe from €1.15 a week Same-day print delivery from Miller Distributors MATTHEW AGIUS THE current partner of a Na- tionalist MP has been acquit- ted of threatening his estranged wife, after the latter took to Facebook to reveal he was hav- ing an affair. Flavia Borg Bonaci had been accused of threatening and har- assing Marica Azzopardi, the wife of MP Jason Azzopardi, after she use social media to re- port the MP had been spotted at the airport going abroad with Borg Bonaci. A police sergeant testified that on 19 June 2017, MP Jason Az- zopardi had called the Paola police station from abroad to report that he was the victim of a defamatory Facebook post by his estranged wife Marica Azz- opardi. In the post, the woman had called Azzopardi a "cheat- ing husband." A police sergeant spoke to Marica Azzopardi the next day, and was told that at 1pm the day before, she had been called up by a woman who told her: "Do you know who you're messing with? Take down that post be- cause my family is from Vallet- ta and we are dangerous! (aħna nies mill-Belt u naslu)." Marica Azzopardi later re- ceived a text message telling her: "If you keep on lying about me I will take you to court. Stop lying. Remove what you wrote about me now. I will ask the po- lice to intervene." The sergeant told the court that Marica Azz- opardi had told her she was now scared of the threats. The sergeant sent for Flavia Borg Bonaci, who admitted call- ing up Azzopardi to take down the post, but denied mentioning her family. MP Jason Azzopardi also tes- tified, saying that he and Borg Bonaci had gone to London and that there was nothing clandes- tine about their visit. He had left the matrimonial home a consid- erable time before the trip took place. He confirmed that the accused had called up the woman and asked her to remove the mes- sage as it was causing a severe inconvenience to her family, which run a shop in Valletta. There were no threats, he said, adding that Marica Azzopardi herself had gone to Borg Bo- naci's father's Valletta shop to make enquiries about him. Marica Azzopardi also tes- tified, saying she suspected her husband was meeting the accused in his office and that Borg Bonaci was continuously sending him messages. She also claimed to have caught the two together in Jason Azzopardi's office. On 19 June 2017, a friend of hers had called her from the airport to inform her that Az- zopardi and Borg Bonaci were being called from the gate at the airport. "At that moment, in a rage at the fact my husband lied again, I decided to put a post on my Facebook page thanking those who… confirmed what I had been suspecting for a long time, that my husband was in a relationship with the accused." Three hours later, she was contacted by police inspector Chantelle Casha, who told her that her husband was filing a defamation report against her if she didn't remove the post. Azz- opardi refused. Later that day she had received a phone-call from an unknown number and heard a woman screaming at her telling her to remove the post. In the evening her husband called her and asked her to remove the post as it was not factual. She claimed that he had also mentioned that when they returned to Malta she would "not get off lightly from her [Borg Bonaci's] family members." This made her fear for her safety, she said. Marica Azzopardi then called Borg Bonaci's mobile phone and introduced herself as the MP's wife, but was beaten back by the recipient who shouted at her and called her a "frustrated woman" and told her to "take care of her husband instead of going to Mass." Borg Bonaci told the court that the post had sullied her name, humiliated her and ruined her reputation. She denied that her family, of Valletta extraction, was "dangerous". The Court decreed that there was nothing criminal about the text message sent, which con- tained threats of a legal nature. "The accused felt insulted by the writings and wrote back to say that she would seek assistance from the Authorities to protect what she took to be her rights." The Court also felt the ac- cused's version of events as to the phone call was more cred- ible, finding that Marica Azzo- pardi had been inconsistent in certain aspects of her testimo- ny, failing to mention confront- ing the accused's father in his Valletta shop despite her fear of retribution. The Court considered that the fact that the Azzopardi had not taken down the offending Face- book post, was not expected of an intimidated person. The court declared it had found no evidence of threats in the mes- sages or a course of conduct leading to harassment. Borg Bonaci was declared in- nocent of all charges. Lawyer Roberto Montalto was defence counsel. Jason Azzopardi's partner cleared of threatening MP's estranged wife Jason Azzopardi

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of MaltaToday previous editions - MALTATODAY 26 September 2021