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NEWS | Wednesday, 19 March 2008

ADT examiner to face drunk driving charges again

Matthew Vella

The Court of Appeal has revoked a sentence of the First Court that had liberated the former Transport Authority official Nicolai Magrin from charges of driving under the influence of alcohol and of running over the father of Labour MP Joseph Cuschieri.
The Court ordered the continuation of the case in the Court of Magistrates.
Magrin was accused of reckless driving, driving under the influence of alcohol, and causing light injuries on the person of Giuseppe Cuschieri, 71 at the time of the incident, when he ran him over in Tower Road, Sliema, on 29 April 2006.
He was acquitted of the accusations due to a mistake in the time of the incident that was noted in the case writ – 8:15am instead of 8:15pm.
The Court of Appeal said the prosecuting inspector should have been more alert in notifying the First Court that the time was indicated incorrectly.
Magrin was the ADT driving examiner implicated in the cash for licences scandal, who would have remained unprosecuted by the police had MaltaToday not revealed the accident, according to an inquiry report.
The conclusions of the inquiry into the Transport Authority’s bribery scandal revealed that “had not the article on the traffic accident of 29 April 2006 in which Mr Nicolai Magrin was involved appeared in the MaltaToday of 18 June 2006, it might well have transpired that this traffic accident would have gone unprosecuted not withstanding that the Police had all the evidence to base a strong charge against him.”
Magrin was one of five examiners arrested and charged by the police in connection with the bribery scandal. He was driving a van owned by Godwin’s Garage with three times the amount of alcohol permitted for drivers when he hit the elderly Cuschieri. According to the records filed at the Sliema police station, Magrin was “visibly drunk” and “could not stand on his feet” when he hit the man on that night.
Three breathalyser tests marked his alcohol levels at 103mg, 92mg and 87mg respectively, way above the permitted 35mg.
Yet neither the police nor the authority took action against the driving examiner.
The inquiry reveals that PS 1268 Ivan Caruana, who was on duty at the Sliema police station at the time of the accident, failed to file charges against Magrin.
On Sunday 18 June, the day MaltaToday published the story, an Assistant Commissioner had phoned Superintendent Vella Gregory and informed him about the story.

MT archives:
ADT examiner incident


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