Attorney General refuses to comment about Dalli case

‘I am bound by confidentiality’ – Peter Grech

Attorney General Peter Grech (left) will not comment about the Dalli case
Attorney General Peter Grech (left) will not comment about the Dalli case

Attorney General Peter Grech has claimed he is bound by professional secrecy and confidentiality not to divulge his opinion on whether John Dalli had to be charged with bribery back in December 2012.

Former police commissioner John Rizzo testified under oath in the compilation of evidence against Silvio Zammit, accused of soliciting a bribe on behalf of Dalli, that "there was agreement with the Attorney General" to press charges against the former European commissioner.

But Rizzo said that Dalli was in Brussels at the time seeking medical treatment and that he decided not to press charges. Since his court testimony, Opposition leader Simon Busuttil has accused Rizzo's successor, Peter Paul Zammit, of unilaterally declaring that Dalli would not be charged, claiming that he is under the political control of the Labour government.

"I am bound by confidentiality," Grech told MaltaToday when asked to comment on Rizzo's testimony in court.

Grech refused to comment any further on his position on the Dalli case.

It is now expected that Peter Paul Zammit could be summoned in court as a witness in the Silvio Zammit compilation, to declare whether Dalli is to be charged with bribery: his statement could go a long way in seeing that the charge of bribery against Zammit falls.

Zammit is also charged with trading in influence. He denies the charges.

He was charged on 12 December with requesting a multi-million bribe on behalf of Dalli, from the European smokeless tobacco lobby in return to lift a ban on the trade of snus.

Although Dalli is mentioned in the Zammit charge sheet, Rizzo never pressed charges throughout the following months, during which Malta was in the middle of a prolonged three-month electoral campaign.

In court last week, Zammit's defence counsel Edward Gatt said that the defence wanted to summon Commissioner of Police Peter Paul Zammit to declare in court whether the charges of bribery against Zammit still stand. "We want to know what the position of the police is vis-à-vis the alleged author of this bribery charge. Because if Dalli is not to be charged (as stated by Peter Paul Zammit in the media), it would be the Attorney General now to decide whether this charge is to be retained."

"It's interesting to see what the Attorney General's opinion is, having given Rizzo one opinion and a different one to the new commissioner of police," Gatt said.

Ghalfejn ma jridx jitkellem l-AG? Zgur minhabba li marbut bil-kunfidenzjalita??!
Dalli is a thorn in GonziPn's back. Gonzi never really forgave him for competing with him for the leadership. SimonPN is repeating the same mistake. There are some 10,000 voters who still trust Dalli. How is Simon going to win the trust of these 10,000 people? By listening to the blogger? Dritt gol-hajt se tiehu l-PN Simon!
In my very humble and maybe simplistic opinion, there can be but one conclusion: either J.Dalli (who to everyone with an iota of common sense can see has been used and is now abused by the Nationalist Party) is guilty by association of this seemingly profit oriented crime, envisioned and perpetrated by others. Or he is not. The most basic, in decent, human, not necessarily official requirements, would be for the Attorney General to state his claim unequivocally. Somehow I know; that in this country it is pointless for one to expect the obvious: pure, untainted justice.
The Attorney General said that he is bound by confidentiality and cannot comment or give his opinion. But with all due respect, what is or who is binding you? Can't this be lifted so you can tell your opinion?