Dalli deplores ‘false and libellous’ allegations by Busuttil

Former European Commissioner takes exception at allegations made by PN leader, and repeated by TV presenter despite his categorical denial.

Raphael Vassallo
25 June 2013, 12:00am

Former European commissioner John Dalli hit out at Opposition leader Simon Busuttil this evening, over allegations aired by the PN leader in a radio interview last Sunday, and repeated during the week by TV presenter (and former PN executive president) Pierre Portelli.

"Last Sunday, in a radio interview that was reported in all newspapers, Simon Busuttil made an allegation in my regard which I rebutted that same day. And yet, in his programme on the national station today [Tuesday], Pierre Portelli alleged that nobody had rebutted these allegations."

The allegations in question were that John Dalli's recent appointment as a health consultant to government had been agreed to between the Labour Opposition and the former European Commissioner before the last election.

The PN leader alleged that this agreement was already in place before Police Commissioner Peter Paul Zammit declared that there was no case against Dalli in connection with an alleged bribery attempt involving a major European tobacco company.

In his statement, Dalli reproduced an excerpt from a letter he wrote to Busuttil following these allegations: "You [Busuttil] said that the fact that the Prime Minister had offered me a position the day after the Police Commissioner made his declaration gave you to udnerstand that there was an agreement from beforehand between myself and the Priem minister. This is false and libellous.

"I made it clear during two interviews I gave on Tuesday 11 June, three days after the Commissioner's statement, that I was ready to offer my services for the good of the country, regardless of any political alignment required by my services."

Nobody had the right to indulge in baseless speculation about others, the former European Commissioner said.