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MaltaToday 22 June 2022 MIDWEEK

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2 NEWS maltatoday | WEDNESDAY • 22 JUNE 2022 2 NEWS KURT SANSONE WASTESERV'S incinerator tender has attracted 11 bidders, the government agency said on Tuesday when the submission period for the prequalification questionnaire closed. The agency said the 11 bids will now be analysed and scored according to the pre-es- tablished criteria identified within the PQQ document. The top five eligible bidders that score the highest points will be shortlisted and invit- ed to participate in a dialogue process. The names of the 11 bidders were not released but Was- teserv said they include "nu- merous world leading names". WasteServ CEO Richard Bilocca welcomed the strong interest from the sector in the €400 million project. "The suc- cessful implementation of this procurement process will de- liver immediate and concrete improvements in Malta's infra- structural setup and long-term environmental performance," he said. The tendering process had to start again after a previ- ous competitive procedure launched in 2020 was aban- doned earlier this year because three shortlisted companies failed to submit a final bid. Then environment minister Aaron Farrugia had said COV- ID-19 and international merg- ers were the reasons why none of the three companies pro- ceeded to a final bid. The incinerator will be treat- ing non-recyclable waste which will be diverted away from landfill and converted into en- ergy. Interested companies will be expected to build the facility within three years and then op- erate it for 20 years. Wasteserv says the project will be a game changer in Mal- ta's waste management poten- tial and will complement the rest of the green waste man- agement plants that will form part of the ECOHIVE complex in Magħtab. "This investment will allow the country to reach its full circular economy poten- tial," the agency said. Waste incinerator tender attracts 11 bidders Man charged with stealing chalice, cash from sacred sites in Zebbug and Siggiewi The Maghtab landfill and waste complex where the incinerator will be built (Photo: Wasteserv) ANNABEL Fernandez, a Spanish citizen residing in Malta, has been fined €500 for illegally importing cannabis from overseas. Fernandez pleaded guilty to the charges brought against her in front of magistrate Noel Bartolo. Testifying, Inspector Martin Mallia ex- plained the drug, delivered through UPS parcel, was intercepted and seized by the police. The authorities immediately ar- rested and questioned the Spanish wom- an. Representing the accused, lawyer Ste- fano Filletti argued that apart from a clean record and her earlier admission, the cannabis grass found in her posses- sion was not illegal. He argued the accused could freely pos- sess and even sell the substance in Malta. "Ironically," Filletti argued, "had Fer- nandez subsequently sold the substance - the sale and the third-party acquirer would not be committing any crime." "The crime was importing a legal sub- stance without a licence, again a restric- tion which was not commonly applied within the EU," he said. "Furthermore, the quantity clearly sug- gested that it was for personal use," he said, a fact which the police agreed with. The court, having heard all submissions, imposed a fine of €500 on the accused. Woman fined €500 for importing cannabis in UPS parcel KARL AZZOPARDI CONSTRUCTION worker Philip Agius, 38, has been charged with stealing sever- al items from sacred sites in Ħaż-Żebbuġ this June including a chalice and cash. The alleged theft took place from inside the Sanctuary of the Sacred Heart in Żeb- buġ and from the Chapel of St John the Baptist in Siġġiewi. Earlier on Tuesday, the police said said the major crimes unit, together with the Qormi district police, arrested the man who carried out three thefts from Siġġie- wi and Ħaż-Żebbug. Appearing in court later on Tuesday, Agius who pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against him, informed the court he did not have the financial means to hire a lawyer. He was given legal aid. The court also heard how the objects which were stolen, had been returned by Agius, after he felt remorse for his ac- tions. The man, who has a drug addiction, did not return the stolen cash, which were used to buy narcotics. Agius was charged with carrying out the thefts which did not exceed €2,333 be- tween June 2 and 3 from the Sacred Heart of Jesus Sanctuary in Żebbug, as well as causing damage to third party property. He was also charged with stealing cash from the St John the Baptist chapel at around 4pm on 13 June. Agius was also charged with the failed attempt to car- ry out a theft in Triq Santa Margerita, Siġġiewi between the 17 and 18 June. The man was finally charged for being in possession, or purchasing objects which had been stolen. Inspector Christina Delia told Magis- trate Noel Bartolo the police had been receiving anonymous reports on a string of thefts from sanctuaries and churches. She said she had gone to the man's home, where he was cooperating in the investi- gation. Legal aid lawyer Leontin Calleja, who appeared for the accused, requested the court convert the charges to drug charg- es. The prosecution objected to the re- quest, saying it was still early in the inves- tigation. Lawyer Karl Muscat, together with At- torney General lawyer Nicholas De Gae- tano, told the court the accused was still consuming drugs, and he was stealing to sustain his addiction. "The court should first hear all the tes- timonies, and then decide," the prosecu- tion argued. The court turned down the defence's request. The defence's request for bail was turned down by the court, over the serious accu- sations, the accused's drug addiction, and the possibility of him being a recidivist. The defence's request for the man to be admitted to a drug programme, instead of the Corradino Correctional Facility, was not met by the court, arguing he could not offer any guarantees. The defence also submitted its request for a pre-sentencing report, which will be submitted on the 11 July. The court rec- ommended to the Director of the Corrad- ino Correctional Facility that the accused be either allocated or given the necessary assistance to pursue a programme or oth- er assistance against drug addiction.

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