Joseph Muscat is indulging in his classic newspeak.

He is spinning this story like the rapist who pleads to the judge “but her skirt was very short”.

He told Christiane Amanpour on CNN, Daphne Caruana Galizia was “a harsh critic of (his)”. He then repeated that line in Parliament.

He is seeking absolution in the only court he cares about, public opinion, by pleading helplessness in the face of the harshness of Daphne Caruana Galizia’s criticism. He is manipulating his enthusiastically gullible audience that it’s the victim’s fault.

Conveniently she is no longer here to call him out though he is probably surprised to find her son, Matthew Caruana Galizia, is just as strong and fierce as his mother was.

No, Joseph Muscat, Daphne Caruana Galizia did not criticise you. That’s what football commentators do.

She accused you.

She accused you of corruption. Of harbouring and protecting corrupt people. She acccused your wife of graft. She accused you of patronising the amoralisation of the state. She accused you of deception, deceit and of prestidigitation in the running of our country. She accused you of siphoning our tax money to the corrupt regime of Ilham Aliyev. She accused you of covering for one of your ministers as he got caught in a brothel and abused the powers of the state to exert revenge on her.

And now you want to use a million euro of our tax money in order to cover up the assassination of the woman who accused of pocketing many more millions at our expense.

You are a crook. This is not a criticism, harsh or otherwise. This is an accusation.

Get out. Now.