Wi­dow of man who died of an elec­tric shock not awarded com­pen­sa­tion

Court ac­quits Az­zopardi brothers of breach­ing fish­ing reg­u­la­tions charges

Malta Independent - - NEWS - Ju­lian Bon­nici Ju­lian Bon­nici

The wi­dow and son of a con­struc­tion worker who died trag­i­cally in 2005 after suf­fer­ing an elec­tric shock were not awarded any com­pen­sa­tion since he had not been wear­ing pro­tec­tive cloth­ing at the time.

Mary Ann Borg and her son Daniel put for­ward a case against Ene­malta and Charles Bonello, the man who was man­ag­ing the site with her hus­band Joseph Borg when the lat­ter died.

The fa­tal in­ci­dent hap­pened on 21 Oc­to­ber, 2002 on the roof of a garage on Triq il-Maqdes Ru­man, Mtarfa.

Judge Sil­vio Meli said that Borg had gone there to lay con­crete on the roof.

On the site there was Bonello who was ap­ply­ing con­crete through a drum and Vince Caru­ana was op­er­at­ing the ready mix ma­chine.

Court ap­pointed ex­perts Pro­fes­sor Carmel Pule and ar­chi­tect Richard Aquilina pre­sented a re­port which con­cluded that the ac­ci­dent oc­curred when the steel cable of the elec­tric crane be­came live after hit­ting two bare elec­tric­ity wires and be­gan to pass elec­tric­ity through the con­crete drum.

Borg, who had not been wear­ing pro­tec­tive cloth­ing such as rub­ber boots, acted as a con­duc­tor and path­way for the elec­tric­ity to pass through. A court yes­ter­day ac­quit­ted two di­rec­tors of a lo­cal fish­ing com­pany of ac­cu­sa­tions of breach­ing a num­ber of fish­ing reg­u­la­tions, while the cap­tain of a ship was found guilty of fail­ing to en­sure that the ves­sel car­ried the cor­rect li­cens­ing in Au­gust of this year.

Mag­is­trate Joseph Mif­sud ruled that the charges should have been brought against Mario and An­thony Az­zopardi in their ca­pac­ity as di­rec­tors of Han­ni­bal Fish­ing Ltd in­stead of in their per­sonal ca­pac­ity.

The mag­is­trate also noted that no rep­re­sen­ta­tive from the Reg­istry of Com­pa­nies had been sum­moned to ex­hibit a copy of the mem­o­ran­dum and ar­ti­cles of as­so­ci­a­tion of Han­ni­bal Fish­ing Lim­ited in or­der to es­tab­lish the iden­tity of the com­pany’s di­rec­tors.

For this rea­son the court ac­quit­ted them of all charges brought against them.

The court said it ex­pected bet­ter co­or­di­na­tion be­tween the po­lice and the Fish­eries Depart­ment in fu­ture cases “rather than ex­pect­ing the court to at­tempt to do the work they were meant to do.”

“It is tan­ta­mount to con­tempt for a party to ex­pect the Court to leaf through 79 pages of reg­u­la­tions .... to make out which reg­u­la­tion has been vi­o­lated as al­leged by the Di­rec­tor of Fish­eries and Aqua­cul­ture,” the mag­is­trate said.

The court found that the cap­tain, Taw­fik El­nag­gar, was ap­ply­ing for the re­newal of his li­cence with the Depart­ment of Fish­eries at the time of the ar­rest.

He was there­fore found guilty of not hav­ing a valid li­cence with the cor­rect iden­ti­fi­ca­tion marking on the ves­sel, and was fined €3,000.

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