Casa asks Council of Europe to probe government's refusal to set up public inquiry into Sofia's death

David Casa asks Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner to scrutinise government's rejection to initiate an independent public inquiry into Jean Paul Sofia's death

MEP David Casa has written to the Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatovic, requesting an investigation into the Maltese government's refusal to initiate an independent public inquiry into Jean Paul Sofia's death.

"When a person’s life is taken or lost, the state is obliged to conduct an effective investigation into the death of one of its citizens," Casa said in his letter, adding that there were "compelling reasons for an independent, public inquiry into Jean Paul Sofia's murder."

Prime Minister Robert Abela has dismissed calls for a public inquiry to investigate the death of Jean Paul Sofia, who died in a building collapse last year. Instead, Abela criticised the ‘unacceptable’ time it is taking for a magisterial inquiry into the death of the 20-year-old to conclude.

On Thursday, Casa reiterated Jean Paul Sofia's mother's claims that a magisterial inquiry was insufficient to meet the government's international law obligations. 

"His mother is entitled to closure. She is entitled to know why her son is no longer with us, what caused his death, if the regulations intended to keep him safe were violated, and whether persons are accountable for her son's death." 

Casa declared that the Maltese state has obligations towards its citizens, and has an absolute obligation to uphold the right to life.

Casa closed by urging that “no more families should be dragged into the political arena to fight for their fundamental human rights”.

Sofia died when a building still under construction at the Kordin Industrial Estate collapsed burrying him beneath tonnes of rubble and freshly poured concrete. Several other workers were injured in the incident.