Media not interested in justice but at hitting out at Magistrate Joe Mifsud

A number of local English newspapers had an editorial or article on the sentence delivered last week by Magistrate Joe Mifsud. After this site referred to the fact that two Times of Malta journalists commented and condemned Joe Mifsud’s sentence without taking a look at the  98 pages that led him to hand down such a sentence, Sunday’s editorial made sure to point out and make us believe that they have actually now read Mifsud’s decree in full before proceeding to comment once again.

In essence, The Sunday Times’ editorial laments the fact that these two architects were not given a prison sentence. Simultaneously, the same media chose to ignore the fact that the lawyers of Miriam Pace’s family, i.e. David Bonello and Joe Giglio, made it clear that the family did not request, when asked, for a prison sentence for these two architects.

What these editorials are missing – and will carry on doing so in their analysis – is the anomaly that no magistrate can address. Perhaps, this anomaly can only be addressed by the Chamber of Architects.

A crucial point unfolded during the case. In fact, one of the architects who was responsible for the construction site in question at Santa Venera, was/is also a shareholder in the construction company working on the building site. What needs to be asked here is whether such practice is positive or whether it can lead to abuse? In brief, this could create a conflict of interest. Where are the checks and balances? Normally, if the architect is not a shareholder in the engaged construction company his vested interest concentration would be on his profession and that any works for which he is responsible are executed to optimise perfection. When an architect is at the same time a shareholder, he would still have an interest to carry out good work but if he can scrimp in certain areas the temptation would be there and he would be caught between two stools!  I can understand that the counter-argument here is that even an architect, who is not a shareholder, could still be induced by the construction company to economize as far as possible in order to increase its profits. The risk of this happening is even higher when an architect is also a shareholder in the construction company.

As for other points referred to in the media, it is obvious that, on their priority list, these journalists are not bothered about workmanship and safety. Their aim is to denigrate Magistrate Joe Mifsud, not because of his sentences, but they resent the fact that he is his own master and is not in anyone’s pocket. Little do they realize that Mifsud is not one to be bullied.   

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