Malta
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[WATCH] Judge visits site of Ħamrun building collapse that claimed the life of Miriam Pace

Madam justice Consuelo Scerri Herrera has carried out a site visit at the building site in Ħamrun where construction works led to the collapse of an adjacent residence and caused the death of Miriam Pace.

The judge, together with lawyers for the Pace family, contractor Ludwig Dimech and the builder, Nicholas Spiteri, went to the site on Wednesday afternoon.

Four months ago, the owner of the site had filed a court application requesting the release of the site, but Dimech’s lawyers filed an application yesterday asking the court to re-examine marks made by the pneumatic drill which had been operating at the site.  

Dimech is understood to have initially consented to the land being released from court custody but had later changed his position.

Sources with knowledge of the case told MaltaToday that the request might be connected to a dispute over money and machinery between Dimech and the company which had been developing the site. 

Left to right: Legal procurator Colin Galea, lawyer Roberto Spiteri, prosecutor Abigail Caruana Vella, lawyer Roberto Montalto and lawyer Michael Sciriha (Photo: James Bianchi/mediatoday)

Left to right: Legal procurator Colin Galea, lawyer Roberto Spiteri, prosecutor Abigail Caruana Vella, lawyer Roberto Montalto and lawyer Michael Sciriha (Photo: James Bianchi/mediatoday)

In a bid to resolve the issue, in a pre-trial sitting held yesterday, the magistrate ordered today’s site visit in order to assess the situation herself.

54-year-old Pace was killed when her home in Triq Joseph Abela Scolaro, in Hamrun collapsed on March 2, 2020.

Her house was next door to a building site which was being excavated at the time. Pace’s body was found under the rubble and recovered by the Civil Protection Department several hours after the collapse.

Architects Roderick Camilleri and Anthony Mangion were subsequently found guilty of causing Pace’s death through negligence as well as of having damaged neighbouring buildings.

Camilleri alone was also convicted of making false declarations to the public authorities. He received a two-year prison sentence, suspended for two years and a 480-hour community service order.

Part of the collapsed building (Photo: James Bianchi/mediatoday)

Part of the collapsed building (Photo: James Bianchi/mediatoday)

Mangion was additionally found guilty of having been absent from a construction site when he should have been overseeing the potentially dangerous works that were being carried out and sentenced to 15 months in prison, suspended for two years, together with a 400-hour community service order.

Lawyers Michael Sciriha, Roberto Montalto and Franco Galea are representing contractor Ludwig Dimech, while lawyers Franco Debono and Marion Camilleri are defence counsel to builder Nicholas Spiteri.

Lawyers Joe Giglio and David Bonello are appearing parte civile for the Pace family.