Gianpula owners fined €120 each for disturbing neighbours with loud music, five years ago
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Gianpula owners fined €120 each for disturbing neighbours with loud music, five years ago

Appeals court overturns Magistrates' Court's decision

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The owners of the Gianpula nightclub were fined on Wednesday for playing loud music which disturbed people living in Rabat, Tal-Virtu' and Dingli five years ago.

The court fined Roger Degiorgio and his son Matthew €120 each. Under Maltese law, playing loud music which disturbs the neighbours is considered as a contravention not a crime.

The case goes back to June 23, 2013 when complaints were made to the police about loud music from the establishment.

The accused had been acquitted by the Magistrates' Court which said that it had not been proven that the music was disturbing the neighbours. Only one person was called as a witness, the court had observed. Furthermore, was also not proven to the first court that the Marrakech disco, where the music was allegedly being played, formed part of Gianpula.

The Attorney General filed an appeal.

In its considerations, the Appeals Court said the establishment was licensed to open up to 4am but this did not mean it could play loud music until that time.

The court said the police investigations showed that loud music was being played at the establishment on the date and time of the complaints. The music could be heard at Tal-Virtu', Rabat and Dingli.

The police had carried out a thorough investigation and a police constable had testified that the music was so loud as heard at Tal-Virtu, it was as if they were on the roof of the disco.

The Appeals Court, therefore, disagreed with the Magistrates' Court that there was insufficient evidence about the music disturbing the neighbours. 

The court said that although the Gianpula owners argued that their establishment was surrounded by fields, the law did not specify a necessary distance from residences and the houses at Rabat at Tal-Virtu had to be considered as neighbours who should not be disturbed in the hours reserved for rest.

The court was presided by Madam Justice Edwina Grima.

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