Twelve Wasteserv officials and two officials from another company, were taken to court on Tuesday to face charges over a workplace accident in Xewkija four years ago that cost a worker both his feet.

The victim, a 50-year-old Italian man, had been commissioned to carry out repair works on a perforating machine at the Wasteserv plant when the accident happened on June 10, 2017, Inspector Bernard Charles Spiteri, prosecuting, told the court. 

He got trapped in machinery and suffered grievous injuries that led to the amputation of both of his feet.  

The accused are Wasteserv directors Vincent Bonello, 80, David J. Borg, 49, Iris Camilleri Mifsud, 68, Frederick Cutajar, 69, Emanuel Magri, 65, Edric Micallef, 43 and Michael Sant, 71, CEO Antonio Montebello, 46, plant manager Charlon Buttigieg, 32, manager Kirsty Zarb, 34, safety officer Stefan Carmel Sultana, 39 and Ing. Andrea Brincat, 36.

Two directors of J.F. Services Ltd, Matthew and Peter Formosa were also jointly charged.

All fourteen individuals were charged upon a complaint by the Occupational Health and Safety Authority over the incident that was allegedly caused through negligence or non-observance of regulations.

They were also charged with breaching a number of health and safety rules.

Lawyers Marc Sant and Bernard Busuttil presented documentation proving that Edric Micallef was not a Wasteserv director at the time of the incident. 

On the basis of that evidence, the prosecution withdrew the charges in respect of Micallef. 

The other accused pleaded not guilty. 

Under cross-examination by lawyer Stefano Filletti, Inspector Spiteri said that the perforating machine had been supplied by a foreign manufacturer and he confirmed that the victim had been sent by this foreign company to repair the technical fault in the machinery.

The victim was not one of Wasteserv’s own employees, the inspector said.

The prosecutor also confirmed that the machinery had been provided by the Italian manufacturer through a joint venture involving a local company.

The case continues later this month.

Lawyers Stephen Tonna Lowell, Stefano Filletti, Nicole Galea, Arthur Azzopardi, Gavin Gulia, Charlon Gouder, Matthew Paris, Anne Marie Cutajar, Nathalino Debrincat and Alex Scerri Herrera were defence counsel.

Magistrate Joe Mifsud presided. 

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