Four company directors and a foreman were yesterday accused of causing the death of a 27-year-old construction worker through negligence.

James Aquilina, 27, from Siġġiewi, died in November 2007 after falling seven storeys in a construction site in Qawra. He was working on the roof of an eight-storey high block of flats with some colleagues when he tripped and fell down a shaft, dying shortly afterwards on site.

The directors of construction company Devlands Ltd, Carmel Deguara, 61, Brian Micallef, 30, Martin Deguara, 53, Emmanuel Micallef, 60, and foreman Antoine Mallia, 36, pleaded not guilty to failing to safeguard the health and safety of their employees.

The directors, who appeared before Magistrate Edwina Grima, were also accused of failing to order an evaluation of health and safety measures on site and failing to put in place safety measures to avoid any falls.

Two other contractors, involved in the project, were arraigned separately.

Silvio Felice, 53, director of Santa Cecilia Co. Ltd, and Carmel Camilleri, director of Camland Ltd, were charged with failing to appoint a project design supervisor and a construction supervisor. They were also accused of failing to keep health and safety records.

Police Inspector Therese Sciberras prosecuted.

Lawyers Joseph Giglio, Emmanuel Mallia and Stephen Tonna Lowell and George Cutajar appeared for the accused.

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