Anton Refalo has said he expected the comments made about him in a Malta Today article written about him by its editor, Saviour Balzan.
The former Gozo Minister says in a social media post directly responding to Balzan’s article, that the comments reflect the same issues and arguments that have been made of politicians for years.
In his first comments since being cleared of domestic violence on Friday, Refalo says he welcomes press freedom to hold politicians to account for their actions and to represent their voters.
‘People expect politicians to work for the people, they expect them to represent them for their best, but we have thankfully come a long way from the time where politicians were seen as a kind of better people. We are people for the people and the vast majority of us try to give our best.’
In his article, Balzan refers to Refalo as a survivor having been cleared of accusations of domestic violence against his teenage son on the grounds that both his son and wife did not testify in the case and that testimony to incriminate was given by a police officer recording the evidence.
Magistrate Joe Mifsud had dismissed this evidence as ‘hearsay’ and dropped the case.
Balzan calls into question Magistrate Mifsud’s decision and the prior professional relationship he had with Mr Refalo prior to this case.
Refalo responds passionately to Balzan’s reference to him as a survivor saying that that he has survived in his role because of the three decades of political representation he had given Gozitan voters.
‘The fact that I have been elected on the First Count ever since 1987 is not because the voters think that I am perfect. It is because they know me and think I am able to represent them in the best possible way.’