Court hears how public official sought bribe to solve social housing problem

A man is charged with asking for €500 to help solve someone’s housing problem

The court heard how the public official allegedly asked for €500 to help a man on the social housing waiting list
The court heard how the public official allegedly asked for €500 to help a man on the social housing waiting list

A public official was charged on Monday with bribery after he allegedly asked a man for €500 to help solve a social housing problem.

The case goes back to August 2017 when Carmel Spiteri from Vittoriosa, who was then employed in the social housing department, solicited payment from a man.

The court heard Samantha Zerafa, a public official, testify how a client turned up to air his grievance. The man had applied for social accommodation a long time previously but had since been told that his file could not be traced.

Zerafa said she accompanied the client to Spiteri’s office within the Social Solidarity Ministry, leaving the two men to discuss the problem.

The client returned some time later and told her that Spiteri had asked for €500 to help sort out his problem.

Zerafa told him that she would have to reveal what had happened to her minister, who then asked to meet the client. 

During that meeting, which she attended, the client confirmed how Spiteri had asked him to fork out some €500, to help address his grievance.

He also claimed to have recordings of the conversations wherein such monetary requests were made.

The case continues.

The court was presided by Magistrate Simone Grech.

Lawyers Franco Debono and Amadeus Cachia were defence counsel.

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