‘No discrimination’ in PL billboards removal
Transport Malta yesterday denied allegations of political discrimination in the planned removal of Labour party billboards, saying they posed a hazard to drivers.
The matter was taken to court after the Labour Party received information that the billboards depicting Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi covering his ears and closing his eyes were about to be removed. They are requesting an injunction against the removal.
Lawyer Franco Vassallo, appearing for Transport Malta, said Labour had not filed an application for the billboards to be installed and, more importantly, they were distracting and could cause an accident.
Lawyer Paul Lia, for the PL, argued that the billboards posed no threat whatsoever and asked if it was Dr Gonzi who was the one feeling threatened.
He asked, for example, what was so unsafe about the one placed near the Turkish cemetery in Marsa, which was situated away from the road.
Dr Vassallo said that it was at a junction where people had to manoeuvre in different directions.
Traffic engineer and head of transport research Audrey Testaferrata De Noto said that she had given advice that the billboards posed a danger.
As a 14-year veteran of the field and knew exactly where every billboard was placed and followed safety guidelines before allowing them.
The guidelines dictated that billboards should be placed on a junction at least 50 metres away.
Transport Malta CEO Stanley Portelli testified that he issued the order for the removal of the billboards after seeking advice and made no distinction between whether they were political or not.