Desmond Boomer

Desmond Boomer

A 38 year old Belfast born engineer working in the Libyan oil fields

Michael Williams

Michael Williams

A 49 year old English born engineer

Matthew Aquilina

Matthew Aquilina

A 22 year old Maltese national returning to Malta

Tadeus Gorny

Tadues Gorny

A 48 year Polish national working in the Libyan oil fields

Phillip Farrugia

Philip Farrugia

A 43 year old Maltese national returning to Malta

Carmel Bartolo

CArmelo Bartolo

The pilot, a 47 year Maltese national

  • Letter From Irish Consulate regarding Newspaper articles


    Department of Foreign Affairs
    Dublin 2

    12 January, 1996

    Mr. Cormac Boomer
    36 Riverside Park North
    BT11 9DLL

    Dear Mr. Boomer,

    Further to our telephone conversation earlier today please find attached

    1. An unofficial translation of an article that appeared in the Maltese language paper "In-Nazzjon Taghna"

    2. An English-language article in the "Maltese Times"

    The Embassy will continue to monitor the case and I will update you with any information we receive.

    Yours sincerely,

    Niamh Ryan
    Consular Section

    Translation of Article In Nazzjon Taghha 10th January 1996

    by Kari Stagno-Navarra

    The Enquiry on the private aeroplane that disappeared in the bad weather with six persons on board on a flight between Djerba and Malta in the early hours of Sunday 3rd December 1995 has been adjourned sine die" after the Bartolo Family, owners of the aeroplane. instituted a constitutional case against the Government on alleged conflict of interest of the members of the Board of Enquiry.

    Dr. Philip Sciberras. the Chairman of the Board suspended the Enquiry becasue Dr. Malcolm Pace the Bartolo family lawyer had opened a case last Monday at the First Hall of the Civil Courts to contest the members forming part of the Board of Enquiry as they could directly or indirectly have conflict of interest in deliberatlng the facts as they are all connected with Air Malta. a company in competition with Sun Aviation
    Ltd, or are connected with the Civil Aviation Department, which may also be witness in the proceedings.

    (A description of the passengers follows - not translated).

    When approached by this paper yesterday. Dr. Philip Sciberras said that the Enquiry was suspended for an indefinite period or ‘sine die; until the Courts decided on the constitutionality of the case put to them.

    The case by the Bartolo family is being heard by Judge Franco Depasquale and a date has yet to be fixed. Reliable sources believe that the casa should start to be heard at the beginning ofnext week.

    Confident about the case he has opened, Dr. Malcolm Paco explained to the Nazzjon that every decision given by the 1st Hall of the Civil Courts on the constitutional validity of his argument is subject to appeal by the parties concerned. This means that should he be proved right the Government can appeal about the decision and vice-versa if the argument by the Bartolo Family is not sustained.

    Dr. Malcolm Pace explained to us that the point about conflict of interest of the Board members are "unequivocally clear and confirmed" by Air Malta itself who also recently issued a citation against Exelalr the private airline company for the sum of LM2,000 for ground handling expenses.

    Dr. Pace explained that from this action it was clearly proved that Air Malta was in competition with Sun Aviation Ltd. as well as every other private airline. He added that in the coming days Sun Aviation Ltd. ls expected to make a case against Air Malta for compensation of about L.M30,000 that Sun Aviation Ltd. had paid as extra expenses for ground handling before the just reforms in the rates and liberalisation took place when all ground handling for private aeropluncs passed to Malta International Airport instead of Air Malta.

    Despite the points raised on conflict of interest of the members of the Board of Enquiry the Attorney General Dr. Anthony Borg Barthet said he would do everything in his power to speed up procedures in the interests of all the parties involved. However, what do the families of the missing passengers think'? Dr. Jose Herrera who is appearing on behalf of Philip Farrugias family said he believed that the arguments put forward by Dr. Malcolm Pace regarding conflict of interest are “frivilous and will also delay unnecessarily the procedures of the board of enquiry". Dr. Herrera complained also about the lack of information on which is the insurance company of Sun Aviation Ltd.

    Dr. Joe Brincat appearing on behalf of Matthew Aquilina’s family when approached explained to us that any comment at this stage would be professionally unethical. A Lawyer representing his client should not comment to the Press on a case that is currently in Court. as it is his duty to speak in Court and not to the Press, an opinion we respect.

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