Exclusive: Senior Gozo Ministry officials charged with involuntary homicide

GWU foundation officials avoid prosecution

 

Tista’ taqra dan l-artiklu bil-Malti

Three high-ranking Gozo Ministry officials have been charged with causing the death of Charlie Attard in March 2021 following an accident in which the 52-year-old Community Worker Scheme employee was assigned to perform maintenance work at a Dwejra public convenience that was not even covered by a permit.

The three public officers were presented in court and charged more than two weeks ago but neither the police nor the Gozo Ministry made any public announcement, and the mainstream media failed to report the news.

The Shift is informed that the three senior officials charged with involuntary homicide, among other serious criminal offences, are Vicky Xeureb, 43, from Munxar, the Director General of the Ministry; Joseph Cutajar, 43, from Victoria, the Director of the Ministry’s Eco Gozo division; and Joseph Xuereb, 54, from Munxar, a manager at the same ministry.

In addition to negligence and unprofessional behaviour which led to the death of the 52-year-old employee from Xewkija, the three senior public officers were accused of breaching laws related to health and safety, including not performing any risk assessment prior to the work assigned to the employee, and not providing the necessary health and safety gear.

The Shift is informed that no action has been taken against the three officials despite specific public service rules which oblige the ministry to automatically suspend officers facing criminal charges.

The three public officers are known to be close to Gozitan ministers in the Labour administration and are putting pressure on the OPM not to invoke their suspension in accordance with the Public Service Management Code (PSMC).

While Vicky Xuereb and Joseph Cutajar are close to Minister Clint Camilleri, Joseph Xuereb, a former nursing aide, became a manager at the Gozo Ministry when Anton Refalo took charge in 2013.

The deceased employee was a member of the Community Workers Scheme, a government scheme aimed at providing work to jobless persons, which is managed by a General Workers Union foundation for a fee. None of the foundation’s officials have been charged so far. GWU President Victor Carachi  sits on the board of the foundation as a director, alongside other union officials.

The charges date back to March 2021 when Attard died after being buried alive in rubble following the collapse of the roof of a Dwejra public convenience in San Lawrenz, where he was working.

A magisterial inquiry carried out by Magistrate Bridgette Sultana found negligence on part of the employers and ordered charges to be filed against several government officials alleged to have been responsible for Attard’s death.

Last August, The Shift reported that police had yet to act on the magistrate’s orders some 17 months after the accident and the conclusion of the inquiry.

Not long after our story was published, the police issued the charges against some of those implicated in the tragic accident.

                           
                           
                               
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mick
mick
19 days ago

Expect all of this to be stonewalled, this is GOZO the most shrouded place in the Maltese islands which have been overwhelmed by the Mafia. No one there answers to anyone, responsibility, clarity, honesty, integrity, and truthfulness, have all long ago been consigned to the bin. Omerta is not a byword, it is integral to survival in Gozo, so do not expect any advancement with this story.

KLAUS
KLAUS
19 days ago

Step-by-step. 
Article by article.
Malta is slowly changing.

Cover-ups are becoming more and more difficult.

It just has to continue so that our children have a future in Malta. There must be a future for all. There must be.

N Scerri
N Scerri
19 days ago

Mela biex tiehu l passi l pulizija trid titkellem is Shift.L istituzzjonijiet qed jahdmu.Mhux hekk.

Francis Said
Francis Said
19 days ago

A truly sorry state of our Police Corps. The question that comes to mind and needs answering is one.
Is the Police Corps that inefficient and incompetent or is it just a puppet on a string?

carlos
19 days ago

Kif jista’ jkun li jkollok fiducja fl-awtoritajiet mmafjuzi f’mafiamalta?

Public Abdilla
Public Abdilla
19 days ago

Il-ligijiet u r-regoli ma qieghdin hemm ghal-kulhadd.

David
David
19 days ago

Gozo is in a sorry and shambles state. It is run by children. It has never been like that before. Hundreds of workers are paid everyday without giving back anything to the state, because they do not go to work. It is normal and accepted. No one is responsible for anything. Only their pockets. Soon we will be the next Greece. Discipline and accountability does not exist. Where is the Accountant General ?

R Pace Bonello
R Pace Bonello
18 days ago

It’s high time the Police Commissioner read the Corps’ Mission Statement.

makjavel
makjavel
17 days ago
Reply to  R Pace Bonello

Too inebriated with power to read . Like a predecessor of his he risks sleeping in jail.
He will be pushed into a bad situation, and then thrown under the bus , speaking figuratively.

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