The Paloma Hotel will not be closing down after the health authority described its state as a ‘public health emergency’ but a court warned that remedial works should be carried out to make sure that the public health was not being manifestly put at risk.
Christopher Drago, the landlord appearing for the owner of La Paloma Hotel and Blue Angel Apartments — Bodistianu Evgueni Ivanoch — was told that though maintenance works on the two properties had already been undertaken, further work as prescribed by court-appointed architects should be carried out as soon as possible.
The health authorities and the police had targeted the property on 26 August when over 100 people had been evicted from the rundown hotel at St Paul’s Bay. In a letter sent to the owner of the properties, the health authorities had said that it would close down the complex with immediate effect because its dilapidated state was a ‘public health emergency.’
The hotel was described as severely unhygienic, lacking electricity and providing broken beds and no lift service. Employees were often left unpaid.
“The court understands that the public health is extremely important and an order for closure can save the lives of many people,” the court said, adding though that it was aware that people who had no other place to stay had returned to the hotel.
The court decided that the Paloma Hotel would resume its business but ordered it to clean up its act in accordance with the Health Authority and the architects’ suggestions as soon as possible.
Mr Justice Francesco Depasquale was presiding judge.
Edward Gatt was defence counsel.