Ħaġar Qim land returned to owners after 14 year legal battle

Google Maps

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

A court has ordered the eviction of the operators of a restaurant near the Ħaġar Qim temples, which had been built illegally over a decade ago.

The judgement against the Ta’ Ħaġar Qim Restaurant’s operator Jane Cini, by the inheritors of the land, brings to a close a legal battle to regain the land which had been waging since 2005.

The land had originally been leased to Cini by the original owner, the late Giuseppa Magri. Cini had made a number of changes to the land, including the building of a restaurant which went against the wishes of the Magri landowners.

The application was filed by the Magri’s lawyer Michael Tanti Dougall back in 2005, calling for the land to be returned.

In her defence, Cini’s legal representatives stated that the Magris had been informed of the changes taking place and that the lease had been under the protection of Reletting of Urban Property Ordinance, a piece of legislation dating back to before the 1995 Rent reforms.

When the Magris had their claim upheld, Cini appealed the judgment in 2017. After losing the appeal, Cini then called for a retrial on the grounds that the law had not been implemented correctly and the decision was made on error during the legal proceedings.

The Justices; Mr. Justice Giannino Caruana Demajo, Mr. Justice Joseph R. Micallef and Mr. Justice Noel Cuschieri threw cold water on the retrial bid saying that it would only be justified if there was fundamental problem with the judgment. Added to this, Cini’s application had been filed after the deadline elapsed.

Supporting the Magri family in court was Lawyer Michael Tanti Dougall. Jane Cini was supported by legal counsel Lawyer Franco Galea.