There were angry scenes outside parliament on Wednesday after government MPs voted down an opposition motion calling for a public inquiry into the death of Jean Paul Sofia in a construction site accident last December.

Insults were hurled at Prime Minister Robert Abela as he emerged from the parliament building and walked past Sofia's distraught mother to his car without speaking to anyone.

Isabelle Bonnici speaking after parliament's vote. Video - Chris Sant Fournier.
 

A picture of Jean Paul Sofia and candles places outside the door of the prime minister's office at the Auberge de Castille on Wednesday.A picture of Jean Paul Sofia and candles places outside the door of the prime minister's office at the Auberge de Castille on Wednesday.

Moments earlier, police officers moved in after visitors in parliament's Strangers' Gallery, including members of Sofia's family, protested against the MPs who voted against the holding of the public inquiry. The sitting was briefly suspended.

Sofia's mother, Isabelle Bonnici, declared that she would 'fight on' and continue to seek justice for her son.  

Sofia, 20, died under tons of rubble when a building under construction in Corradino collapsed during roofing works in December last year. Five other workers were injured.

Sofia’s mother has since been insisting that an independent inquiry should be held, arguing that it would go further than a magisterial inquiry and possibly help avoid similar incidents, ensuring her son would not have died in vain.

The prime minister is escorted out of parliament as Isabelle Bonnici looks on.Video - Chris Sant Fournier

Grech slams 'lack of empathy' as police move into Strangers' Gallery

Opposition leader Bernard Grech said it was disgraceful that the police were deployed to evict members of Sofia's family from parliament after the vote. 

This, he said, was a shameful lack of empathy.

Angry scenes outside parliament as the prime minister is driven away.(Chris Sant Fournier)

The police should have started to investigate this tragic case instead of acting against the family, he said. 

Grech promised that the Nationalist Party would continue to back Isabelle Bonnici and seek effective action to stop circumstances that had led to the death of Sofia and, earlier, of Miriam Pace in ─Žamrun.

The opposition leader speaking outside parliament on Wednesday.

 

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