Ludwig Dimech, the contractor charged in connection to the death of Miriam Pace, will not be blacklisted or excluded from government contracts until he is found guilty and exhausted all options for appeal.
That means that Dimech can continue receiving millions in government contracts and direct orders from a myriad of government departments even if he is found guilty, as long as he appeals the decision.
A Shift News analysis of parliamentary questions has revealed that Infrastructure Malta issued contracts worth over €1 million to two companies linked to Dimech – LK Ltd. and Dimbros Ltd – in the year after Pace’s death. Lovin Malta has previously revealed how he pocketed €2 million in similar contracts in the years leading up to Pace’s death.
Speaking to Lovin Malta, Infrastructure Malta said that it is not authorised to exclude or blacklist contractors unless they have been subject to a conviction by final judgement.
“The works in question were carried out by the indicated contractor as part of pre-existing framework agreements and through a dynamic purchasing system procedure at pre-established rates which is open to all service providers, in line with applicable legislation,” Infrastructure Malta said.
“Infrastructure Malta is not informed that any of its contractors have been convicted of crimes or other irregularities that merit exclusion in terms of these regulations.”
Sources told Lovin Malta that there are basic requirements that allow contractors to apply for the framework agreement. However, Malta is yet to have a national registry for contractors, meaning that most operators have zero qualifications to operate such machinery. The registry was promised under reforms following a series of non-fatal collapses in 2019, but are yet to be realised, despite continued incidents.
Dimech, who is a registered excavation contractor, has been charged with causing the death of Miriam Pace, who was killed when her house in Ħamrun collapsed as a result of works at an ongoing construction site in March 2020, which had begun a few weeks before. The family of Miriam Pace has since reached an out-of-court settlement in civil proceedings MCZMC Developers Limited.
Despite the incident, Dimech has seemingly continued to operate, with the help of taxpayers’ money. He has long been the recipient of government funds, with figures provided exclusively to Lovin Malta showing how between 2013 and 2019, the companies earned €1,040,950 and €1,190,470 in road contracts respectively.
Dimech appears to be a repeat offender. He had two separate sites, located in Marsaxlokk and Zejtun, sealed off for breaching regulations last year. Dimech still remained on the government-sponsored Malta Developers’ Association contractors registry until it was taken down last year.
A few weeks after Pace’s death, Dimech was involved in the collapse of a large chunk of the road neighbouring one of his construction sites in St Julian’s. There was no damage to the property, and no one was injured. However, people who took the video had been passing along the very same walkaway just minutes prior.
Despite the incidents and evidence of shoddy work, Dimech will continue to reap millions off of state funds.
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