From the Times online, Sunday, 28th June 2009
NGOs slam architect, demand investigations
A number of environmental groups have slammed Siggiewi mayor Robert Musumeci for his request to the police to investigate environmentalist Astrid Vella.
The NGOs BirdLife Malta, Din l-Art Ħelwa, Flimkien Għal Ambjent Aħjar, Friends of the Earth Malta, Gaia Foundation, Nature Trust Malta and the Ramblers Association said the authorities should investigate the notorious planning applications from the mayor's district that went against planning policies and were approved by the Malta Environment and Planning Authority boards, and not environmental campaigners who brought these cases to the public's attention.
Mr Musumeci is the architect behind a controversial project in Bahrija valley belonging to Nationalist Party president Victor Scerri. Besides his request to the police about Ms Vella over a comment submitted on timesofmalta.com, he has also filed a libel suit.
The NGOs said that in 2005, Mr Musumeci had 23 planning applications most of which were outside development zones in Siġġiewi.
These were recommended for refusal by Mepa planning officers but were approved by different boards within the authority. There were other cases since.
"This means that Mepa boards approved planning applications that were against theauthority’s own policies," the NGOs charged.
The NGOs asked if the authorities had initiated investigations about Mr Musumeci’s private business activities during his mayorship.
“Mr. Mussumeci should set an example as a mayor and is obliged to adhere to a strict code of ethics as established by the Local Councils Act.
"Instead he seems to be using technicalities to replace ethical considerations on environment, and deploying bullying tactics to silence environmental campaigners” they concluded.