Email attacks and ‘a destroyed party’ – John Dalli’s words to the PN executive
EU Commissioner and former leadership rival says he declined to issue statement of support for Richard Cachia Caruana when former ambassador asked him to.
18 July 2012, 12:00am
EU Commissioner John Dalli, a former Nationalist minister in both the Eddie Fenech Adami and Gonzi cabinets, yesterday also revealed he had been the target of "renewed" attacks made against him, and that he would provide the Prime Minister with information on PN and government officials at the source of these alleged attacks.
Talking from Brussels to the full attention of the executive committee, which also groups MPs, Dalli's testimony yesterday - according to Gonzi - did not serve to substantiate any of the allegations of "collusion" that MP Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando made against party strategist Richard Cachia Caruana.
But as one witness told MaltaToday, Dalli's 'impassioned' speech, which steered clear of direct attacks on executive committee members, was a "hard-hitting and direct" appraisal of the state of the party as infighting threatens Lawrence Gonzi's one-seat majority.
"Dalli said the party was now experiencing attacks that had become 'characteristic' of the last years," the PN source said.
"He said that he knows the origin of anonymous blogs, and also email conversations, which attacked him some time in February when his name was being floated as a possible candidate for the party leadership election in February. He said they originated from the party."
Dalli was said to have read out a string of emails that had come in his possession. "Dalli said the emails were not some lone act, but the work of a 'group working under instructions'."
Dalli also revealed that on Wednesday, 11 July, he was specifically asked by Cachia Caruana to issue a statement in his favour, but that he declined.
He then said that on Thursday, 12 July - the next day - he found that his email domain had been hacked in an attempt at replicating his email traffic, and claimed the hacking originated from an IP address that was directly linked to the group fomenting anonymous attacks on him.
MaltaToday could not establish whether these two observations were linked.
As confirmed by Gonzi yesterday, Dalli will be meeting him, to pass on the names of party officials who he claims passed on information on to the Labour party in a bid to inflict damage upon him.
"Dalli also pointed specifically that while the Prime Minister expressed his distress at the fact that Cachia Caruana still did not know what the accusations made against consisted, it was Gonzi himself who accused Dalli in 2004 on the basis of the fabricated Zahra report," the source told this newspaper.
Dalli was asked to resign as foreign minister in 2004 after a private investigator's report alleging he accepted kickbacks on a government tender, was presented to Lawrence Gonzi. The prime minister had asked Dalli to resign before presenting the report, which proved to be false, to the Commissioner of Police for investigation.
"He said him and his family were vilified and that they were still being discriminated against by unofficial party media," the source told MaltaToday.
Dalli was also reported to have accused the PN's executive of 'destroying the party' and saying that Nationalists did not feel at home inside the PN.
Matthew Vella is executive editor at MaltaToday.
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