Seyble Zammit tells court he's unable to recall details of match-fixing meeting

Testimony by Zammit, who was exempted from punishment after admitting a match-fixing charge on account of his cooperation with police, sheds no further light on the case.

Seyble Zammit admitted to charges of match-fixing in separate proceedings.
Seyble Zammit admitted to charges of match-fixing in separate proceedings.

Seyble Zammit was unable to recall practically anything about the arrangements made over a match that he had previously admitted to fixing, in court today.

The phrase ‘I don’t remember’ featured prominently during the cross-examination the 21-year old footballer, as magistrate Joe Mifsud continued to hear evidence against Ronnie Mackay, 34 from St Julian’s, who is accused of bribery.

Earlier this year, the 21-year-old footballer had pleaded guilty to his part in the the match-fixing scandal which rocked the local football scene. He was exempted from punishment on account of his collaboration with the police.

But when called to the witness stand this afternoon, a court expert who was assigned to examine it told the court that Zammit could not remember the passcode to his mobile phone. Zammit had explained that he would normally unlock it with a swipe of his thumb. A court expert, however, explained that once the phone is switched off, a pin would be required to unlock it.

Zammit had claimed that it had been McKay who approached him first, saying that was only vaguely aware of who McKay was before that. Mckay had called him on his phone, but had never given him the number.

Under cross-examination by lawyer Gianella de Marco, he recalled that he had approached other players, telling them that there was someone who wanted to fix the Malta vs Montenegro game.

Quoting a statement by Luke Montebello, who had said that Zammit had approached him, meeting him in a car with another player, Kyle Cesare, De Marco asked the witness to provide more detail about the meeting. “He said that Seyble told him to fix the match, and that he didn’t accept and exited the car. Is this true?” the lawyer asked. Zammit said that Montebello didn’t give him time to say much before he got out of the car.

Montebello had testified that Zammit had offered him €2,500 or €3,000 and hadn't mentioned arranging a meeting with anyone else. Zammit said he didn’t remember this, only remembering saying that he wanted Luke to help fix the game.

“You are saying that he left without giving you a chance to say much. He is saying that you offered him to lose the game,” the lawyer prodded. Zammit said he couldn't remember that.

The witness said that he had met with many players back then, but couldn't remember the names, although later going to name a handful of the players involved.

De Marco hinted that this was not the first time that Zammit had tried to fix the outcome of a football match, but Zammit denied this.

During proceedings against Kyle Cesare, Zammit had said that he and Cesare had waited for Mackay in the latter's car. He had said that McKay had brought an Asian person into the car. De Marco pressed the witness about this encounter, but Zammit only recalled that the Cesare and the mysterious Asian had shook hands, saying “OK” and “confirmed” before the Asian left. He could not remember what the men had spoken about.

The case continues.