The Nationalist Party has repeated its call for a public inquiry into the death on a construction site of Jean Paul Sofia, questioning who the prime minister is trying to protect in his opposition to the request.

Sofa, 20, was killed when a building collapsed while under construction at the Corradino industrial estate in December. 

His family and the PN have been calling for an independent public inquiry to investigate what caused the building to collapse and to ensure lessons are learned for the future. 

Yet, Prime Minister Abela has dismissed all calls to set up such a public inquiry. 

“The question everyone is asking is why the government does not want to open a public inquiry into this shocking case,” PN MP Jerome Caruana Cilia said on Tuesday. 

“We have a Prime Minister who said the government has absolutely nothing to hide, so if this is true, open a public inquiry. Who is Abela protecting? Is there someone involved in this tragedy that is close to the party?”

He quotes Abela who said that a parallel hearing to the ongoing magisterial inquiry would disrupt rather than help the search for justice. 

“We have seen cases in the past where a public inquiry is launched into a case that is ongoing in court,” Caruana Cilia said. 

He pointed out that a public inquiry was carried out into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, while the case was ongoing in court. 

 He said that a public inquiry into Sofia’s death could lead to proposals to improve Malta’s building industry, and also save future lives. 

“In the name of Jean-Paul, his mother Isabelle, I insist that the government opens a public inquiry,” he said.

PN MP Stanley Zammit said that the government’s arguments against a public inquiry are superfluous and that the government should invest in financial and human resources for a public inquiry. 

"Abela is hiding the truth by refusing a public inquiry and keeping families, like Sofia's, blind from what is happening. Abela's government must shoulder the responsibility to fight the culture of 'might is right' and institutional anarchy".

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