The Labour Party has been occupying a beautiful three-storey corner building in Senglea’s main street for decades. It was paying its owners just €146.15 annually until 2015 when it stopped paying rent.
That property was estimated, by court expert Joseph Grech, to be worth €500,000. Yet its owners were deprived of its enjoyment by the Labour Party and got nothing for it.
Rent on that property should have amounted to €22,525 per year. But Labour paid only €146.15 until 2015 – and then nothing.
After a lengthy legal battle, the courts have now vindicated the owners. The court declared that the owners’ fundamental rights were breached. The court awarded the owners €155,920.57 in compensation.
But it’s not the Labour Party that’s going to pay. It’s us, the taxpayers.
We’ll be paying not only the €155,920.57 but also all the court expenses related to this case. Thanks to Madam Justice Joanne Vella Cuschieri, all those hundreds of thousands will be paid by the State Advocate – that is out of taxpayers’ money.
The former Labour Party candidate, in her sentence, ensured that the Labour Party does not pay a single cent for the decades during which it robbed the rights of the property owners to enjoy their property.
Why was Vella Cuschieri, filmed screeching Viva l-Labour, even allowed to judge a case involving her former Party?
What is even more galling is that throughout the court proceedings, the State Advocate, paid by us, defended the Labour Party and its occupation of that Senglea property – and pay peanuts or nothing.
So, in addition to the €155.920.57 we’ll be paying in compensation to the owners as well as the court expenses, we’ve also been paying the State Advocate to fight Labour’s corner.
For years the State Advocate defended Labour’s continued abuse of the fundamental rights of the property owners.
The owners were obliged to renew the lease on that property indefinitely at the same annual rate of €146.15 under the exact same conditions.
The case was clear. Here was the powerful Party in government abusing the rights of the property owners. Yet the State Advocate pulled all the stops to make sure that the Labour Party continued to benefit from its abuse.
He argued that the owners needed to indicate the precise date when they became property owners for them to present the case. He claimed that the owners had other remedies to resort to and, therefore, the case should be dismissed.
Unbelievably, the State Advocate argued that the owners weren’t completely deprived of their rights. He appealed to the court to dismiss the owners’ claims. Nobody had forced the original owners, now deceased, to rent out the property to the Labour Party, the State Advocate insisted. Therefore, their inheritors could not now expect to annul the lease.
There were more wild arguments. The State Advocate argued that the Labour Party’s occupation of that Senglea property was a “social need” and that the property was serving the purposes of “social housing”.
And after all, he concluded, why did the owners wait so long to institute legal proceedings? They couldn’t really have been aggrieved by being denied the use of their property.
This was just unbelievable. The State Advocate’s argument was that since the owners had faced this situation for so long, then the property owners had forfeited their rights on the property.
How much time, energy, and money did the State Advocate’s office spend defending Labour?
The Labour Party mounted its defence too. No surprise that it was identical to the State Advocate’s – almost word for word.
Even more ludicrous was the Labour Party’s claim that it had nothing to answer for and should be non-suited.
Labour had not only occupied the property for decades, but it had also connected adjacent properties making it impossible to distinguish where one property ended, and another started, to the detriment of the owners. The structural changes had been carried out without the knowledge or approval of the owners.
But the Labour Party went further. It cast doubts about whether the litigants were the actual owners of the property. Labour argued that it should be allowed to continue to occupy the property and pay peanuts because this was in the interest of “civil society”.
The court threw out the argument that Labour had nothing to do with the case. It was compelled to point out the obvious – the Labour Party was the lessee and that “the merits of the case concern the Labour Party directly”.
The court categorically declared that the owners’ fundamental rights had been breached. It ruled that the owners were no longer bound to renew the lease. But Madam Justice Vella Cuschieri rejected the owners’ plea to evict the Labour Party from their property, on the pretext that this was not the competent court.
So what’s the score?
The owners of that Senglea property get €155,920.57 in compensation. They’re not legally bound to renew the lease on their property with the Labour Party. But the Labour Party still gets to occupy their property and won’t be evicted.
Although the court ruled that the owners’ fundamental right to enjoy their property was breached, they still cannot enjoy their property because Labour continues to squat in it. They can’t use it. They can’t sell it.
As for us taxpayers, we get to foot the €155,920.57 bill. We get to pay all the court expenses running into tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of euro.
We paid the State Advocate for time defending Labour’s breach of citizens’ fundamental rights when he could have been attending to far more critical cases.
There’s only one winner here – the Labour Party. And plenty of losers – all of us.
Just one word: CROOKS AND SHAME ON THE MUVUMENT KORROTT.
Tat-tqalligħ dal-abbuż sfrenat kollu. Il-partit Laburista għan wieħed għandu: biex il-membri tiegħu jsiru sinjuri fewdali moderni.
In a normal country, the State Advocate would have counter claimed against the occupiers of the property asking the court to condemn them to make good for their unjustified enrichment. Next time a Labour troll describes the opposition party as “fallut”, think of how the Labour Party became rich.
In a more simplistic way of understanding, every PL Club house serves equally as ‘socia housing’ because they have made it indistinguishable to tell where the use of either of these purposes starts and ends.
What I really cannot understand is the ruling in this case which lets the PL off the hook for any rental compensations and loads it all up on the taxpayers burden. After all, this property wasn’t rented by the government, but that party and going with all the machinations by the PL itself, surely this party has enough money to pay up what they own to the owner in outstanding rents.
They charged a hungry person for stealing a can of tuna, but in more serious cases they seem to act differently what a shame is the justice hiding scandals ?
What do you think current incumbent would have done differently? He is the buddy of EZL and Cardona. Another one of those installed in the institutions for the benefit of a political party not the State.
The present State Advocate moved to that position after a career of signal failure representing the University in its many ”arguments” with its own employees. He does not seem to have made any progress: still his Master’s Voice.
Quoting Lord Hewart(1924),the then Lord Chief Justice of England,”Justice must not only be done, but must also be seen to be done”.
Do not be surprised about the standards of the AG, since it is true that this office and the AG in persona have become the fortress of criminals close to the LP and the defendants of wrong doings in public administration, but believe me that this office is also full of idiots and imbecilles, in a nut shell, full of avukati falluti u ta sitt habbiet.
Vote wisely !
So, the Labour govetnment first staffed all institutions with ex Labour candidates & persons closed to Labour Party and then Robert Abela keeps telling tat the Institutions are working…but only to defend Labour Party INTERESTS like this scandalous sentence!!!!