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MALTATODAY 19 June 2022

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maltatoday | SUNDAY • 19 JUNE 2022 3 NEWS PN mum on outcome of internal investigation on Muscat Fenech Adami CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 And while she was slated to face a party disciplinary hearing for refusing to resign, Muscat Fenech Adami remained in place as mayor and was even supported by Labour councillors to back up her controversial vote in favour of a high-rise project. While repeated requests by MaltaToday on the disciplinary hearing were not answered by the PN, the president of the admin- istrative council Graham Bencini has refused to confirm or deny a decision not to sanction the Naxxar mayor. MaltaToday understands that Muscat Fenech Adami was in- formed that the party hearing found no ethics breach over her refusal to stand down as mayor, after voting in favour of a high- rise despite the local council's earlier objection. Opposition leader Bernard Grech remains evasive over the way his party dealt with a deci- sion to refer the mayor to the PN's disciplinary committee for refusing a direct instruction to resign. In December 2021, Muscat Fenech Adami refused to resign after MaltaToday reported that she had failed to declare to the local council, that she was a com- pany secretary in a firm partly owned by Edwin Mintoff, the ar- chitect of controversial 10-storey tower she voted in favour of. Nationalist mayor Anne Marie Muscat Fenech Adami voted for the project, a two-tower complex at the former trade fair grounds, despite the council having previ- ously said it was opposed to the proposed height just in Novem- ber. The company Chalet Bulgari was formed in 2007, and archi- tect Edwin Mintoff, has a 14% shareholding. Additionally, the mayor is CEO of Veduta Estates, a company that owns 14% of Chalet Bulgari, the company which includes Mintoff as shareholder. Muscat Fenech Adami today justified her vote in favour of the project by saying that it did not go against current planning pol- icies. "Although I am personally against high-rise development in Naxxar, I cannot be egoistical," she said, adding that she saw no conflict of interest. "I work with the company. It is not mine. Everyone has a job. They are two different jobs, and I see no con- flict of interest." Naxxar saga Minutes of an October 2o21 meeting that discussed the pro- ject, state that the decision was to inform the PA that the coun- cil "wishes that the development is not so high and that the open spaces are maintained by the de- veloper." Subsequently, a note was sent by the PA in which the council welcomed several im- provements made over a previous application, while reiterating its concern on the proposed height. But both the PN mayor, and Labour minority leader Marlon Brincat, insisted with MaltaTo- day that the vote reflected the 27 October discussion between councillors. It was only PN councillor Joe Spiteri who argued that the ten-storey development was un- suitable for Naxxar, warning it would set a precedent for other high-rise buildings, and express- ing a preference for a five-storey development. Yet both Muscat Fenech Ad- ami and Brincat argued that the choice was limited to either a five-storey development cover- ing the entire site, or applying the 'floor-area ratio', the mechanism that retains half the site as open public space in return for taller heights. At no stage was a vote requested or taken, to determine whether the council should vote in favour or against the project. The project is proposed by San Pawl tat-Targa Investments, which own the site. Virtù Proper- ties (Portelli, Virtu Holdings) and Ziz Limited (Joseph Debono) own the company. Edwin Mintoff & Associates are project architects.

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