Fraud case involving John Dalli’s daughters held up because co-accused unfit to stand trial

The defence said in the court that the prosecution knew that some of the defendants weren’t fit to stand trial but chose to file proceedings jointly against all six of the accused anyway • Magistrate declares court expects decision on way forward by June

 

A lawyer assisting the daughters of former EU Commissioner John Dalli has drawn attention to the fact that the prosecution had known that one of the accused was unfit to stand trial.

Lawyer Stefano Filletti was making submissions at the end of Wednesday’s sitting in the compilation of evidence against the Dalli sisters and four other foreign nationals who are accused of masterminding a scheme, which defrauded investors out of their life savings.

Louise Dalli, Claire Gauci Borda, Eloise Marie Corbin Klein, Charles Ray Jackson, Elizabeth Jean Jackson and Robert Mitchell McIvor are facing charges of money laundering, misappropriation of funds, fraud, making a false declaration to a public authority and the falsification and use of false documents.

Gauci Borda alone is separately charged with breaching the Money Laundering And Financing Of Terrorism Act and with failing to carry out her professional duties as an accountant and auditor. 

A court-appointed psychiatrist, Consultant Ethel Felice today took the witness stand to report her medical findings to the Magistrate, having been appointed to assess Jackson’s fitness to stand trial.

Having examined Elizabeth Jean Jackson and her medical files, Felice concluded that the woman, a stroke survivor, was disoriented and suffering from severe dementia. The woman demonstrated a severely impaired memory and cognitive decline. Even her personality had changed and she was completely disoriented, as well as having a speech impairment, Felice explained.

This made Jackson unfit to stand trial, concluded the psychiatrist.

Elizabeth Jean Jackson and Eloise Marie Corbin Klein have, so far, never appeared in court, with their lawyer Arthur Azzopardi informing the magistrate, during the very first hearing, that one of the women had suffered a stroke and that the other had severe mobility problems.

Filletti drew attention to the fact that the prosecution had known of these medical problems but had still opted to file the proceedings jointly against all six of the accused.

“They knew of this problem. Now they cannot claim some fortuitous event. They must take a decision,” Filletti argued.

Having heard the defence’s submissions magistrate Bugeja declared that the court expected the prosecution to take a decision on the way forward by the next scheduled sitting, in June.

“This case is dragging on far too much. It’s already been ongoing for months and all because the prosecution chose to present their case in this way when they were aware of this problem from the outset” Filletti remarked.

Inspector Yvonne Farrugia prosecuted.

Stefano Filletti and Stephen Tonna Lowell are counsel to the Dalli sisters

Arthur Azzopardi is counsel to the other four co-accused.

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