‘Is it possible we won’t learn from past mistakes?’ JeanPaul Sofia’s mother says in letter to MPs

Construction site accident victim Jean Paul Sofia’s mother publishes letter sent to MPs calling for a public inquiry into her son’s death • No government MPs have reacted to her pleas, days after letter was sent

Jean Paul Sofia with his mother
Jean Paul Sofia with his mother

Construction site accident victim Jean Paul Sofia’s mother has published a letter sent to MPs calling for a public inquiry into her son’s death.

“I am writing this genuine message from the heart of a hurt mother who wants justice for her son, as well as reform and enforcement of the current construction laws and those that need to be introduced. As much as possible, I would like to avoid more deaths so that no parent passes through this eternal pain,” the letter reads.

The letter sent to all MPs in the House was published on a Facebook page created by JeanPaul’s mother, in an effort to see justice made with her and her family following his untimely death.

“I want a public inquiry on this tragedy and it seems the public agrees with me. Who will listen to me and them if not yourselves? In a democratic country, MPs are elected to listen to and serve the public and your votes in Parliament should be weapons to defend what is right. Will you deny the people of Malta of justice? Will you deny every parent the right to peace of mind when their child goes to work?” she pleaded to MPs.

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.

Sofia was killed in a construction site accident last December, after a three-storey building he was working at collapsed during construction works. Five men - three Albanian, a Maltese and a Bosnian were rescued by members of the Civil Protection Department.

Magistrate Marseann Farrugia is conducting an inquiry into the incident.

“While a magisterial inquiry can establish criminal guilt, a public inquiry alone can establish administrative justice and lead to a reform of these faulty processes. I will pay the price for the rest of my life and I will keep loving my son endlessly. I am sure that many of you will try to understand me if you know what love means, and especially if you are parents too. For the sake of righteousness and justice, I am urging you to vote with your conscience on this motion for a public inquiry,” JeanPaul’s mother told MPs.

“The public wants an effective reform, justice, transparency and accountability, not empty words. Is it possible that we won’t learn from past mistakes where a public inquiry didn’t take place and more people, including my son, died? You have a duty to feel the public pulse and show that you truly care about this country and our children.”

She said her son was “a sacrificial lamb” because a building with such shortcomings could have easily killed more people.

 “You have a choice to give parents some peace of mind by letting us know that everything possible is being done to ensure no more children die at work,” she said. “Is it possible that you are ready to take a risk on another son or mother? I am ready to meet whoever wants to discuss this with me. It’s in your hands now. JeanPaul is a Maltese citizen and he is your son too. Don’t forget him.”

Days after the letter was sent, no government MP or minister is yet to react to it.