Dalli sisters fraud case to be separated

The court has declared that Louise Dalli and Claire Gauci Borda - both of whom stand accused of money laundering, misappropriation of funds, fraud, making a false declaration to a public authority and the falsification and use of documents - are to be tried separately

The criminal case involving the daughters of former EU Commissioner John Dalli has finally got off the ground after logistical problems were overcome.

It has been over a year since criminal charges were first filed against Louise Dalli and Claire Gauci Borda, together with foreign nationals Eloise Marie Corbin Klein, Charles Ray Jackson, Elizabeth Jean Jackson and Robert Mitchell McIvor, who stand accused of money laundering, misappropriation of funds, fraud, making a false declaration to a public authority and the falsification and use of documents.

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

However, no progress had been registered on account of health issues afflicting the four foreign co-accused, which made it impossible for them to make an appearance in court.

While the Court, the prosecution and the parties’ lawyers struggled to solve the deadlock, in which lawyers Stefano Filletti and Stephen Tonna Lowell, assisting the Dalli siblings, insisted on the separation of proceedings in order to have the cases heard more quickly, one of the co-accused, Robert Mitchell McIvor, passed away and the health of the other foreign co-accused deteriorated further.

READ ALSODalli daughters' money-laundering case hits yet another snag

It had been at the beginning of the proceedings that lawyer Arthur Azzopardi had informed the court that Jackson had suffered a stroke, while Corbin Klein had mobility problems which meant that both were impeded from being physically present in court.

Months passed, and Jackson also began to show signs of serious health problems, his lawyer, Azzopardi, had told the court.

When proceedings resumed this morning, the court, presided over by magistrate Aaron Bugeja upheld an application filed by the Commissioner of Police today, requesting a separation of the proceedings and since the defence lawyers did not object.

“The court considers that these proceedings can proceed more expeditiously in case that the requests of the prosecution are acceded to,” ruled the Magistrate, declaring that from now on the co-accused were to be tried separately.

The court went on to declare that criminal action was to be taken first against Gauci Borda and Dalli, then against Corbin Klein and finally against Mr and Mrs Jackson. Fresh charges are to be pressed as a result of the decree.

The court was presented with a copy of the death certificate of McIver, declaring that in this respect the criminal action against him was to be deemed extinct.

“The first impasse has been surpassed,” quipped the Magistrate, before moving on to consider a request, put forward by Dr Tonna Lowell in open court, for the prosecution to disclose all documents and information upon which charges had been based.

Prosecuting Inspector Yvonne Farrugia duly bound herself to produce the requested documents and information within one month from today’s hearing.

The case will continue in May.

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