€133,473 fine confirmed for illegal Nadur development
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The Court of Criminal Appeal in Gozo presided by the Chief Justice Vincent Degaetano rejected the appeal cases of two defendants that were convicted of carrying out illegal development on their respective sites and had not adhered to a court order to return their site to its original state within a fixed time period and pay a daily fine.
In one of the cases, the Court of Appeal, discarded defendant, Mr. Teddy Rapa’s argument, that he was not in a position to remove an illegal development as he was not allowed access to the site for differences he has with his brother and confirmed the Court of Magistrate’s judgment that had condemned the defendant to a fine of €133,473.
The case dates back to 1997, when the Court of Magistrates (Gozo) had found the defendant guilty of having carried out development in Nadur not according to the approved permit and had fined him €233. The court had ordered him to remove the illegal development within a period of 3 months against a daily fine of €58.25. Mr. Rapa failed to comply with the court judgment and so new criminal proceedings were instigated against him. This time around in 2006, in another judgment by the Court of Magistrates (Gozo), the accused was ordered to pay a fine of €133,473 equivalent to 2,292 days of daily fines.
Similarly, in another case, Chief Justice Vincent Degaetano found that although defendant Mr John Cauchi had unsuccessfully tried to sanction the illegal development, during the course of criminal proceedings, the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and confirmed the Court of Magistrate’s judgment in its entirety.
Late last year, the Court of Magistrates (Gozo) had found Mr John Cauchi guilty of an illegal change of use of a plot of land in Xewkija from garigue to an exercise yard for cattle, and for breaching a stop and enforcement notice issued on the same site. The court had inflicted a fine of €1,500 and ordered the accused to return the site to its original state within 3 months against a daily penalty of €58.33.