Prosecution asks for separate proceedings to break impasse in John Dalli daughters’ case

After almost a year, the money-laundering case against six people, including John Dalli’s two daughters has made no progress because ill-health prevented two of the accused from attending court

Eloise Corbin (left), John Dalli, and Louise Dalli (right)
Eloise Corbin (left), John Dalli, and Louise Dalli (right)

Months into the compilation of evidence against the daughters of former EU Commissioner John Dalli over money-laundering allegations, the prosecution has requested a separation of proceedings.

Dalli’s daughters, Louise Dalli and Claire Gauci Borda, are facing charges of money laundering, misappropriation of funds, fraud, making a false declaration to a public authority and the falsification and use of documents.

Foreign nationals, Eloise Marie Corbin Klein, Charles Ray Jackson, Elizabeth Jean Jackson and Robert Mitchell McIvor, also stand accused of the same charges.

Gauci Borda 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.

READ ALSO: John Dalli's daughters in court on Ponzi scheme charges

But now, almost one year since charges were jointly filed against the six co-accused, no progress has been registered, with proceedings hampered by the fact that two of the persons charged, namely Elizabeth Jean Jackson and Eloise Marie Corbin Klein, have so far never appeared in court.

From the very start their lawyer, Arthur Azzopardi, had informed the court that one of the women had survived a stroke, while the other had mobility problems which impeded her from being physically present in court.

During previous sittings, lawyers for the Dalli sisters had voiced concern over the fact that proceedings were dragging on for far too long because the prosecution had chosen to file joint charges.

As proceedings resumed after the summer recess, prosecuting Inspector Yvonne Farrugia informed the court that the prosecution was to request the separation of proceedings in respect of Jackson.

As for Corbin Klein, the prosecution claimed to have resolved the matter by finding suitable transport to ferry the house-bound patient to court.

“The problem lies in getting her out of her residence,” Azzopardi remarked, pointing out that there were accessibility issues to contend with.

However, lawyer Stephen Tonna Lowell, appearing for the Dalli sisters, promptly pointed out that such a request for the separation of proceedings could not be made in the absence of four of the accused, namely the foreign nationals who today were not present in court.

“Our interest is to ensure that this case proceeds. Nothing has been done in almost one year,” Stefano Filletti, a defence lawyer for the Dalli sisters stressed.

Declaring that the court too was interested in getting on with the proceedings, presiding Magistrate Aaron Bugeja turned towards the prosecuting inspector, directing her to take into account all the circumstances brought to the knowledge of the court and to regulate

 the prosecution’s stand accordingly.

The case was adjourned to next month.

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