John Dalli to face charges over €60 million snus bribery allegations

Disgraced European Commissioner who resigned over OLAF investigation will be charged on 17 September

Disgraced European Commissioner John Dalli is set to be charged over the  bribery allegations that saw him resign from the Commission in 2012.

The charges were filed last week through citation. He will be arraigned on Friday 17 September in front of Magistrate Caroline Farrugia Frendo at 12pm.

Jason Azzopardi first indicated on Monday morning that police are set to arraign John Dalli over the allegations, writing that since Malta needs to find itself off the FATF money laundering grey list, "we need to bring out of the drawer those cases that [former Prime Minister Joseph] Muscat had tried to hide".

Tafu li jien dejjem tkellimt fil-Parlament u ktibt fil-miftuh fuq l-iktar decizjoni importanti u essenziali li Joseph...

Posted by Jason Azzopardi on Monday, September 6, 2021

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.

His resignation was prompted by the conclusion of a report from the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF). The report had found that Silvio Zammit had approached the company Swedish Match, through contacts with Dalli, and sought to gain financial advantages in exchange for influence over a possible future legislative proposal on the tobacco product snus.

No transaction was concluded between the company and the entrepreneur, and no payment was made.

Dalli’s resignation came two years before his end of term. A former finance and foreign minister, Dalli lost the Nationalist Party’s leadership race in 2004 to Lawrence Gonzi.

In July 2004, Dalli resigned as minister after being implicated in a false report by a private investigator of having accepted kickbacks on a medical equipment tender for Mater Dei Hospital.

After he was cleared of the report’s implications, he was appointed Lawrence Gonzi’s special advisor on economic affairs. Dalli was later appointed social policy minister in 2008.