“Don’t you know how much a trencher costs?” Architect told neighbour – Witness

Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The compilation of evidence against four individuals who have been accused of Pace’s death through negligence and involuntarily damaging third-party property continued on Thursday morning.

The incident happened on March 2 in Triq Joseph Abela Scolaro in Ħamrun.

During today’s court sitting two Police Officers from the Hamrun and Marsa Police Station testified in court. A number of neighbours also gave their testimony.

12:06 Thank you for following Newsbook.com.mt live blog.
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12:06 Today's court sitting ends here.
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12:05 David Zerafa's testimony ends here.
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12:04 "My wife is doing psychiatrist sessions and takes pills against anxiety" stated Zerafa.
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12:04 They do not know who is paying for rent and they are constantly thinking that they will be faced with a huge rent bill.
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12:03 He said that they are currently living in Gzira.
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12:03 He said that his wife is not ready to live in their home as psychologically she is not ready.
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12:02 "My wife and my children are suffering more than I am" – said David Zerafa.
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12:01 He also says that his wife tried several times to reach Miriam Pace but she was not answering the phone.
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11:59 He says that on-site there was a huge construction vehicle and his wife informed him that the machinery was moved.

"It was initially at a corner at the back of Abela Scolaro road and then moved closer to the property of the Pace family."
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11:58 He recalls his wife telling him she was on the phone with their daughter when she felt a tremor.
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11:58 As he arrived he immediately looked for his wife who was terrified and desperate.
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11:57 The witness says that there was so much confusion.
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11:56 Due to his work, he had to visit the site in Gwardamanga when houses had collapsed – " But when you actually see your home the emotions are totally different" – stated Zerafa.
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11:55 "As I arrived I could not believe what I saw. It was a scene I do not want to see again ever in my life" – said Zerafa.
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11:54 David Zerafa says while driving back to Hamrun he was so anxious.
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11:53 He is now giving details on the day the house of Miriam Pace collapsed; He was at work in Zabbar, his wife called him – she was crying.
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11:52 Carmel Pace and his daughter are present in court attentively listening to the testimonies.
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11:51 Zerafa explained to the court that the architect told them they will dig a hole in the middle of the plot to assess the type of stone.
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11:51 This happened around a month before the tragedy.
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11:49 They were concerned whether the contractor was using a trencher or not for rock-cutting.

David Zerafa said that his wife had asked the architect about this and her replied: "Don't you know how much a trencher costs!"
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11:47 The witness also says that Miriam and his wife were extremely worried.
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11:47 He also says that once Miriam Pace had come to their home to speak to them about the situation. He also says that they were very worried and scared something might happen.
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11:44 The witness says that they had to bear huge noise due to the works.
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11:43 He says that the construction works had began in January/February of this year.
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11:43 Zerafa says that the construction site is on the right-hand side of their home.
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11:42 Rosette Zerafa had already testified.
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11:42 Next to take the witness stand is David Zerafa. Husband of Rosette Zerafa – neighbours of the Pace family.
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11:40 He presents a power of attorney to the court, owner of a garage in Triq Joseph Abela Scolaro. The garage belongs to his father.
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11:39 Next to take the witness stand is John Sammut. He already testified in previous court sittings.
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11:39 Her testimony ends here.
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11:38 Sammut says that before the house of Miriam Pace collapsed her husband together with Miriam and other neighbours had met with the contractor.
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11:37 In the same road, the witness had a garage.
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11:36 Sammut also says that after the report by the architect was compiled further damages had emerged in her property due to the accident and therefore another report will be compiled.
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11:35 The witness presents the court a document prepared by Architect Daniel Portelli on the state of the building of her property.
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11:35 She tells the court that she went back inside her house two days after to take their belongings.
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11:33 As from March 19th Sammut has been residing in San Gwann.

She says that she wasn't at home when the building collapsed. Her husband called her to tell her the house of Miriam Pace has collapsed and that there was complete chaos.
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11:32 Next to take the witness stand is Grace Sammut, a neighbour of the Pace family.
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11:32 His testimony ends here.
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11:31 The price of the car is €12,123 – including VAT. He says he did not receive the tax refund for the car since it was destroyed.
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11:30 Lawyer Joe Giglio asks the witness questions about the car.
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11:29 He says he had received a photo of his car which was destroyed.
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11:27 Farrugia Wismayer had his car parked next to the site. The car was in a state of total-loss' when the building collapsed.
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11:27 His testimony ends here. Next to take the witness stand id Karl Farrugia Wismayer.
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11:26 He said that the residents near the construction site were asked to leave their home.
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11:25 He recalls the telephone call received at the police station on the 2nd of March 2020.
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11:25 Gauci is stationed at the Marsa Police Station.
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11:24 Police Officer Christian Gauci takes the witness stand.
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11:24 Police Inspector Mercieca will not be cross-examined.

His testimony ends here.
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11:23 The police officer does not remember the make of the other construction vehicles. He only remembers their colour – yellow.
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11:22 The witness is being asked on the position of the mentioned vehicle – a truck.
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11:21 Ludwig Dimech had explained to the police that he could not understand how a particular vehicle was on a particular side of the construction site.
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11:21 The Police then took 2 of the construction workers and the architect at the Police station.
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11:20 He noticed 3 construction vehicles.
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11:19 Mercieca recalls that when he arrived on-site there was complete chaos.
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11:19 Mercieca was on duty at the Hamrun Police Station on the day of the tragedy.
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11:18 Police Officer Christian Mercieca takes the witness stand.
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11:18 The following day, the compilation of evidence will continue.
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11:17 The court can access the site on the 28th of July at 8am.
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11:14 The court is discussing an appeal saying that the site where the accident happened should not be tampered.
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11:13 We are live from courtroom 9.
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11:04 Today's sitting was expected to start at 11 am.
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11:00 Police Inspectors Robert Vella and Matthew Galea are prosecuting.
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10:59 Lawyers Arthur Azzopardi and Alfred Abela are appearing on behalf of the architects. Lawyers Franco Debono and Marion Camilleri are assisting the labourer.

Lawyers Michael Sciriha, Roberto Montalto, Lucio Sciriha and Franco Galea are counsel to the contractor.
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10:58 Lawyers Joe Giglio and David Bonello are appearing for the Pace family while Dr Stefano Filletti is assisting other neighbours.
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10:54 Welcome to this live blog.
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10:54 Good morning.
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