Minister Owen Bonnici when asked by Newsbook.com.mt why there was no permit for the so-called “restoration works” on the Great Siege Monument that also serves as a shrine for assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia replied with a non-answer.
He just said: “I thought you’d ask me about the damage on the monument” wryly adding “surely there was no permit to damage the said monument”. Newsbook.com.mt was trying to obtain an elusive copy of the restoration method statement which is legally required for such work.
Bonnici however chose to reply with another non-answer saying that he was aware how much Newsbook.com.mt cherished the historical sites and monuments. When pressed for an answer regarding the permit covering the restoration works, Bonnici produced another non-answer. He said “I will not subject myself to any controversary”. He argued that there was the rule of law and that every one has to respect the law.
When asked about the elgal basis behind the barriers placed around the monument, Bonnici spouted another non-answer just saying that the workers should be left to work. He then went on a tangent appealing to people to abide by the law. Taking what he must have considered another jibe at Newsbook.com.mt he said that he thought this newsroom would ask different questions given our concern about historical sites and monuments.
The conversation ended off with Newsbook.com.mt reminding the Minister about the man who staged a one man protest who ended up in Mount Carmel. The Minister said he was not aware of the case, despite the man having won both in Court and on appeal.
Man sent to Mount Carmel for protesting
Judge Joseph Zammit McKeon had found that the rights of Ignatius Busuttil who staged a one-man protest in front of the Office of the Prime Minister were breached and awarded him €2,000 in compensation. The Constitutional Court rejected the appeal of both the Police Commissioner and the Attorney General.
Ignatius Busuttil had staged a one-man protest in front of the Office of the Prime Minister on three separate occassions following a decision by MEPA back in August 2014, was detained on each occasion. On 8 August he was taken to the Valletta Police Station and from there taken to the Floriana Health Clinic. He was then taken to the Police Headquarters and later to Mater Dei. The doctor at Mater Dei had written a note sending the man to Mount Carmel.