Valletta’s Local Council has sought the advice of architect ahead of a potential objection to Pawlu Lia’s plans to transform an 18th Century Palazzo in the heart of Valletta into a four-storey office block.
Pawlu Lia, the legal representative of Joseph Muscat and other leading government officials, applied for the extension recently with objections open up until 26th July 2019.
The issue was brought up in a council meeting by minority leader Christian Micallef after Lovin Malta reported extensively on the potential development, with both Din L-Art Helwa and Flimkien Ghal-Ambjent Ahjar both making their objection clear.
“We’ll be creating a dangerous precedent if we suddenly decided that Valletta’s skyline is not important and start adding floors to buildings,” Din L-Art Helwa Alex Torpiano previously told the newsroom.
Plans to look further into Lia’s development were backed by Valletta’s Mayor Alfred Zammit, who told Lovin Malta he would wait for the report’s conclusions before deciding on his position.
The site has already seen an application approved in 2018 for a third-floor extension and a set-back fourth-floor extension.
However, an executable development permit was not issued after the project failed to meet the necessary compliance from the Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD).
Looking at visual impressions for the site does make for worrying reading, with the block imposingly standing two floors above any of the other buildings on Old Bakery Street.
Who is Pawlu Lia?
Besides being Muscat’s personal lawyer, Pawlu Lia is also the government’s representative on the Commission For The Administration Of Justice, which is responsible for disciplinary action against the judiciary and lawyers.
Lia has also been involved in many of the court cases involving the Labour Party and its exponents, most notably facing off against Adrian Delia in his bid to publish a full version of the Egrant Inquiry.
He has even been reported as the person who redacted the infamous Egrant Inquiry, which itself is currently at the centre of a legal battle pushing for its publication.
Lia is also yet to pay a long-standing fine for contempt of court that dates back to 2002, with him facing possible detention should he fail to pay up.