Lawyer in Paqpaqli crash case questions why track designers are exempted from prosecution

Lawyers in the case against the organisers of the 2015 Paqpaqli crash have questioned why the Porsche instructors who designed the track were excluded from prosecution

Martin Bajada, a court expert, testified on how he extracted data from the Porsche
Martin Bajada, a court expert, testified on how he extracted data from the Porsche

Lawyers in the case against the organisers of the ill-fated 2015 Paqpaqli Ghall-Istrina supercar exhibition have questioned why the Porsche instructors who designed the track were excluded from prosecution, despite them having said that they were aware that the barriers would not protect bystanders in the case of a crash.

During today’s sitting Martin Bajada, a court expert, testified on how he extracted data from the Porsche. He explained that following an extraction process from the vehicle’s ECU, files containing codes was retrieved. 

The codes indicated various functions and errors which were registered in the ECU of the vehicle. He explained that with the proper manual or information, the codes could then be crossed checked and interpreted.  This data was made available to the Inquiring magistrate and court experts in the course of the magisterial inquiry.

Superintendent Josric Mifsud gave evidence on the police investigation.  He testified that soon after the accident he went on site. He gave immediate instruction to move the metal barriers to control the public and move the general public away from the site of the accident.  Later on he coordinated the movement of the Porsche.  The vehicle was loaded on a police truck and was moved finally to Muscat Motors and kept under police watch.  The vehicle was cordoned off and a police officer placed as a fixed point with the vehicle.

Dr Stefano Filletti, in cross-examination, questioned what discussions took place between the investigating officers before deciding whom to prosecute.  “Why were Dineef and Bangma, two Porsche instructors, who designed the safety track excluded from prosecution?” Asked Dr Filletti.  Supt. Mifsud answered that the magisterial inquiry did not indicate them.

Dr Filletti quoted Dineef confirming not only that the track was designed by them but that they were aware that in case of a vehicle losing control the barriers would not have protected people from impact.  “Is this not negligence?” Dr Filletti asked. Supt Mifsud answered that they were drivers, prompting a heated reply from Dr Filletti that this therefore would “not only be negligence but incompetence”.

In further cross-examination by Dr Giannella De Marco, Supt Mifsud confirmed that the Porsche was parked in Muscat Motors garage. Other vehicles were also parked there but the Porsche was cordoned off. A police watch was placed to ensure that the vehicle would not be touched or tampered with.

Later on during the sitting, a problem arose with witnesses which had to be heard by video-conferencing from the United States. Testimony which had to be heard today will now be heard tomorrow.

Superintendent Josric Mifsud and Inspectors Silvio Magro and Hubert Cini are prosecuting. Bailey is being represented by lawyer Giannella de Marco while lawyer Joe Giglio is Darmanin’s legal counsel. The other members of the organising committee are being represented by lawyer Stefano Filletti in the court proceedings.

Appearing for the various members of the organising committee are lawyers Joe Giglio, Stefano Filletti, Arthur Azzopardi, Michael Sciriha, Raphael Fenech Adami and Albert Zerafa.

Franco Debono, Amadeus Cachia, Roberto Montalto, Michael Grech, Shazoo Ghaznavi, Alessia Zammit Mackeon and Reuben Farrugia are among the lawyers appearing parte civile for the victims.

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