Former PN minister Dalli wants apology from Repubblika over ‘corruption’ association

Former minister and European commissioner John Dalli has demanded an apology from rule of law group Repubblika for associating him with corruption during a protest

John Dalli
John Dalli

The former Nationalist minister and former European Commissioner John Dalli has demanded an apology from rule of law group Repubblika for associating him with corruption during a protest outside police headquarters on Tuesday.

Dalli lambasted the NGO as a “small group of exalted puppets” and “non-entities boosted by the corrupt media” and demanded an apology for associating him with corruption.

Dalli became an adviser to former prime minister Joseph Muscat in 2013, after returning to Malta from a medical sojourn in Brussels following his resignation as European Commissioner over the ‘Dalligate’ snus scandal.

“Perhaps they are referring to the numerous calumnies invented by the perverse criminal Daphne Caruana Galizia such as the one that Egrant is owned by me; that I am involved in  17 Black; that I was involved in the privatisation of hospitals…  This perverse criminal was given impunity by a Labour government when I took action against her for ‘harassment’. They prevented the police from proceeding with an investigation which the police had started,” Dalli said in a press statement.

“Or perhaps they confused me with someone who stole millions in the oil scandal, or who acted as a ‘nominee’ to register in Malta companies for the mafia or for a PPP from Africa, or who illegally changed the conditions of land contracts,” Dalli said.

Earlier this year, the European Union’s court of justice rejected a claim by Dalli for €1 million in damages caused by what he said was “unlawful conduct” by the European Commission as a result of the termination of his office.

The General Court of the ECJ dismissed the appeal, rejecting all seven arguments invoked by Dalli: six of them related to the conduct of OLAF and the seventh to the findings made by the General Court concerning the alleged damages he suffered.

Dalli was appealing a 2019 judgement by the General Court, which had dismissed his action for compensation for the harm purportedly suffered  as a result of allegedly illegal conduct of the EC and OLAF when he resigned his post in October 2012.

In 2015, the General Court had already dismissed an action by Dalli to annul the ‘oral decision’ of his 2012 termination from office as well as turning down his claim for €1.9 million in material damages. The ECJ then dismissed an appeal in 2016.

Dalli resigned his office in September 2012 after he was faced by accusations from then Commission president José Barroso over an OLAF investigation that showed he had been in contact with restaurateur Silvio Zammit when the latter had been soliciting bribes from a Swedish snuff tobacco company seeking the end of a retail ban on its products.

“Dalli has not shown the existence of unlawful conduct on the part of OLAF or the Commission and has not established the existence of a sufficiently direct causal link between the conduct complained off and the alleged damage, or even the existence of the latter,” the General Court said in 2019.