An opposition motion into the building collapse which killed 20-year-old Jean Paul Sofia on December 3 will seek to put the role and actions of public institutions and the rules governing them under public scrutiny.
Sofia died under tons of debris when the building, at Corradino, collapsed during construction. Another five workers were injured.
The motion, presented by Opposition leader Bernard Grech and four other Nationalist MPs on Tuesday, expresses regret over the death and notes that the Sofia family had been repeatedly calling for an inquiry after failing to get answers from the authorities on what had really happened. Their call, however had been rebuffed by the prime minister.
The motion says that the state has a duty to ensure the safety of all citizens, not least through a regulatory framework and proper enforcement of measures to protect life and limb.
The board of inquiry, headed by a serving judge should therefore establish:
- Whether in this case the state's authorities and institutions observed their duty to protect the life of Jean-Paul Sofia;
- Whether, in the context of the laws and rules which govern them, the state's authorities and institutions could have acted to avoid the tragedy;
- Whether the people running those authorities and institutions were qualified, trained, competent and organised enough to carry out their duties to enforce the laws and regulations of the construction sector.
The motion also calls on the Board of Inquiry to recommend measures which the country should take so that its authorities and institutions can fulfil their duties for the regulation of the building industry and the protection of the workers.
The motion says the hearings of the inquiry should be in public, and, if possible a report should be submitted within three months.
Prime Minister Robert Abela last month was evasive when replying to calls for an inquiry, saying that the existing institutions, including the magisterial inquiry, should be allowed to proceed in serenity, but without delay.
But on Monday, without actually mentioning the case, he was critical in parliament of magistrates who were slow in concluding their work, pointing specifically to a fatality which took place three months ago.
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