We start with the subheading of the article of MaltaToday which reads “Lawyer David Gatt blasts prosecution’s star witness, former police constable Mario Portelli.” Dear readers, please wash your hands regularly but do not worry about your brain – the media already does it for you.
“David Gatt, denying the charges, testified that he will not forgive Mario Portelli who had testified against him.” But when you deny, you need to bring proof, no?
“From the witness stand, Gatt recalled how, as he had been leaving for a holiday in Scotland, he had been approached by former Police Commissioner John Rizzo in 2001 to resign over allegations that he had close relations with known criminals. He was sacked from the police corps three months later.” Didn’t Commissioner John Rizzo have the tapping of the phone as evidence? Didn’t we read how a colleague had stated that the Rabat police station had been turned into a criminal hub when Gatt was a police inspector there?
“In court today, Gatt attacked the prosecution’s star witness, former police constable Mario Portelli, who had appointed Gatt as his lawyer during his own marital separation proceedings.” No dear readers! According to investigation done by this site, the lawyer representing Mario Portelli in his marital separation proceedings was Dr Emmy Bezzina!
“Gatt said that “Portelli would occasionally go out drinking together, the lawyer said, adding that Portelli would badmouth several police officers during these sessions. Gatt recalled how on one occasion, Portelli told him that he had gone to a farm belonging to his ex-father in law and killed two dogs. Portelli had also revealed to him that he had been blackmailing a surgeon from Kappara with a video, the contents of which were not mentioned in court.”
“Gatt hinted that Portelli was gay, and that this had been a factor in their falling-out, as Portelli had taken offence at Gatt warning his client Fabio Psaila about fraternising too much with Portelli.”
“Portelli later had several meetings with Commissioner Rizzo, during which the witness told the court that he surmised that he had been the topic of discussion.”
“The lawyer said that he had given Fabio Psaila Dr John Zammit Montebello’s phone number and “a day or two later” heard the news that police had raided a Balzan clinic to arrest Darren Debono and Vince Muscat.” What a pure coincidence!
“Gatt denied suggestions that Zammit Montebello had asked him not to mention his name during proceedings.” But Dr Zammit Montebello stated the contrary.
“Portelli had alleged that Gatt had planned the hold-up on jewellery shop after its owner, Michael Mizzi, had refused to pay Gatt a reward or tip for finding a suitcase belonging to the businessman. Today, Gatt insisted that he had never found any suitcases during the course of his career in the police force and alleged that Portelli would use a police car to cruise near Manoel Island for prostitutes.”
“He also claimed that strands of long hair which had been found in the car belonged to those prostitutes, shed as they serviced Portelli and another officer.”
“The accused also claimed that pirated copies of “the Godfather” films which had been found at his house during a police raid, had been obtained by Portelli. Prison wardens would play the Godfather soundtrack whenever his parents would visit him in prison, Gatt recalled bitterly.” And what about the Godfather poster found hanging in the office and the Israeli flag?
“He would not forgive Portelli for testifying against him, he said. ‘I’m not a priest.’” Oh well, you don’t have to be a priest to forgive!
“I suffered a great deal [because of him]. I lost my job and office. For a time I was treated like a leper. There were many betrayals by many people,” a pained Gatt recalled.”
Excuse me, what kind of testimony is this? In my opinion, this is character assassination. According to a 2010 study by Thomas D, titled “Narcissism: Behind the Mask”, “character assassination is an intentional attempt, usually by a narcissist or his or her codependents, to influence the portrayal or reputation of someone in such a way as to cause others to develop an extremely negative or unappealing perception of them. It typically involves deliberate exaggeration or manipulation of facts, the spreading of rumours and deliberate misinformation to present an untrue picture of the targeted person, and unwarranted and excessive criticism.” Do you see this in the testimony of Gatt?
Do you think, dear readers, that police constable Mario Portelli, would have gone all the way, risking his job and reputation, and coming up with a long six-page report and allegations about Gatt, out of pure vengeance or invention?
We know we had the testimonies of other policemen, including that of Inspector Mercieca which I will deal with in the next piece, and those of Commissioner John Rizzo and the Deputy.
I find it very hard to believe that Mario Portelli had risked it all this way out of pure vengeance, considering that what Mario Portelli had testified about, was mentioned this year in the Degiorgios’ press release. So, dear readers, either we have a lot of creative, imaginative minds in this little island where coincidentally, they all point at the involvement of the same village lawyer, or it is what it is.
Was any proof brought forth of everything that Gatt said? How about the evidence that the defence team asked for? Did Gatt provide evidence? Were dogs found killed? Was the video found? What were the contents? Why weren’t these contents mentioned in court? Were prison wardens asked to testify? Did Gatt prove that the Godfather series belong to Portelli? What about the Godfather poster found in the office? The office did not belong to Mario Portelli! Were the strands of the hair found in the car studied forensically to prove to whom they belonged to?
And then we have a contradiction. First Gatt hinted that Portelli was gay and then he said that Portelli would use a police car to cruise near Manoel Island for prostitutes. So, if these allegations are true, then Portelli would be bi-sexual. And anyway, what does it have to do with the case?
And then, just by pure coincidence, it so transpired that by sheer misfortune, Gatt had given the number of Dr John Zammit Montebello to Fabio Psaila and coincidentally, he had later heard the news that police had raided a Balzan clinic to arrest Darren Debono and Vince Muscat.
So, there was a Balzan clinic, no? And there was a link with Dr John Zammit Montebello, no? But coincidentally it wasn’t Gatt who had called the doctor. He had just passed on the number of the same doctor.
Malta is so small. Same building with the stairs.Same loops. Same village lawyer. Same David Gatt.
And yet, he was acquitted from our courts and the mind continues to boggle.