Opposition MPs Mark Anthony Sammut and Stanley Zammit today called for Ian Borg’s resignation or dismissal following the latest court sentence confirming illegalities at the minister’s Rabat home where he built an illegal swimming pool in what they called a case of “institutionalised anarchy”.
At a press conference this morning, PN MP and Standards in Public Life Committee member Mark Anthony Sammut said that if Ian Borg does not resign, then Prime Minister Robert Abela “should dismiss him”.
He pointed out that this is the fourth time that Borg’s actions have been officially condemned.
Borg is back under scrutiny after a ruling by the Court of Appeal on Wednesday confirmed that the swimming pool at his Santa Katerina home in Rabat was built illegally. The ruling also lambasted the Planning Authority for accommodating the minister.
This is the fourth time that Borg has been condemned either by a court or through an official report concerning both the pool and his house at the idyllic settlement on the outskirts of Rabat.
PN MP Stanley Zammit said that Borg’s actions showed another aspect of the “culture of impunity” which has proliferated in the country, referring to the Daphne Caruana Galizia public inquiry conclusions to the same effect.
He said that such actions “encourage others to abuse the law in the same way”, and that “the authorities enforce the court’s decision without delays”.
Borg’s pool saga dates back to 2018 when he first applied to build the pool on fresh ODZ land in the small settlement of Santa Katerina, limits of Rabat. Going against its own policies The Planning Authority, which Borg had been in charge of as infrastructure minister, nevertheless issued a permit for the development.
Sammut cited a 2015 Ombudsman’s report which described Borg’s “devious method” of applying for a development permit for the property which would later have the pool. A PA Case Officer report also contained omissions that “cannot be put down to human error but point to a deliberate attempt to remove the one remaining obstacle” blocking the application’s approval.
In 2019, a court of appeal revoked Borg’s development permit for the ODZ pool, declaring the policy that the PA had used to shoehorn in a concession for the pool inapplicable. Despite this, Borg completed the construction of the pool, defying the court.
In 2020, the courts also found Borg to be “lacking credibility” when he testified that he did not know the property’s previous owner had mental health issues in a libel case concerning media reports which said Borg had manipulated and taken advantage of the owner’s mental health issues when buying the property for a paltry €10,000.
Apart from being diagnosed, as an example to all, the present infrastructure minister MUST send in the bulldozers to destroy the pool and rewritten the ODZ LAND TO ITS PREVIOUS STATE.