Green MEPs seek answers on Dalligate in Malta meetings

José Bové and Bart Staes to meet home affairs minister and Commissioner of Police tomorrow.

Green MEP José Bové
Green MEP José Bové

Green MEPs José Bové and Bart Staes will tomorrow meet the Prime Minister's chief of staff, home affairs minister Manuel Mallia and Commissioner of Police Peter-Paul Zammit, in a series of meetings related to the resignation of former European Commissioner John Dalli.

The two MEPs had published a recording of a conversation with a Swedish Match official which had revealed that an alleged meeting which implicated Dalli in a multi-million bribe to the company, had never taken place.

They will host a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.

But their calls for a special inquiry committee were turned down by the European Parliament's president.

Bové and Staes have called on European Commission President José Barroso to explain the reasons behind the dismissal of John Dalli from the Commission, in the wake of a leaked report of the OLAF investigation that found no direct evidence of the former commissioner's involvement in an alleged bribe.

The report, published by MaltaToday, although two of its pages and a three-page interview with the EC's 'Sanco' health director-general Paola Testori Coggi are missing. "This report clearly shows that the OLAF investigation was unable to provide conclusive evidence of the direct involvement of the former European Commissioner John Dalli in the attempt to influence a bribe," the two MEPs have said.

Dalli was accused by OLAF director Giovanni Kessler of having been aware, going by circumstantial evidence of telephone toll records, that Silvio Zammit, a canvasser, was using the commissioner's name to solicit a €60 million bribe from Swedish Match to influence the reversal of a trading ban.

Bart Staes, vice-president of the budgetary control committee, said the OLAF report could not be described as an impartial report and pointed out that the OLAF report had shown "an unacceptable collusion" between Swedish Match, lobbyist and former head of the Council's legal services Michel Petite, and Catherine Day, secretary-general of the European Commission.

Bové has also asked European Parliament president Martin Schulz "to propose a solution to find a way out of this major crisis" after his request for a special commission on the Dalligate affair was turned down by other European Parliament leaders.

More in Dalligate
To be honest - nobody uttered a single word in favour of Mr Dalli - no PN or PL members. Everybody seems to be scared of commenting. On the other hand it is unacceptable that no action has yet so far been taken to see whether Gale Kimberley lied about the second meeting which as far as I am aware of is a focal point in the investigation !. It is shameful that so far only foreign MEPs have voiced their concern about the way the investigation was conducted and us the maltese stayed as we say in maltese 'gallerija'.
Will Bondi of Where's Everybody be on the front seat this time round? I doubt it.
Malta had 9 different MEPs since Dalli's resignation last October, including one who has become the PN party leader and who hails from the same party as Dalli. Did any one of them utter a single word in favour of Dalli?