A former Mepa official has been cleared of receiving money which as a public official he was not entitled to and defrauding Joseph Micallef of Mosta in October 1998.

Magistrate Antonio Mizzi said the case started when former Mepa chairman Andrew Calleja wrote to the police in May 2002 and said that the accused, Arthur Abela, allegedly received a cheque of Lm350 from a person who submitted a General Development Order application to Mepa.

The accused denied receiving the money and explained that he had bought wine equipment for Lm350 from Mr Micallef, which he decided not to keep and his money was returned.

But Mr Micallef claimed he paid Mr Abela the money for the issuing of a permit.

Magistrate Mizzi said that if one compared the evidence given by Mr Micallef and Mr Abela, one could conclude that the evidence given by the accused was more credible.

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