September 6, 2021
Former European commissioner John Dalli will face charges as part of a bribery scandal that resulted in his resignation from the Commission in 2012, the Times of Malta reported on Monday.
Dalli will appear in court in Malta on September 17 over his role in a case that became known as “Dalligate.” He said the charges were part of a “campaign” against him. “This is another fraud,” he told the Times of Malta.
Dalli’s aide Silvio Zammit allegedly tried to obtain a €60 million bribe from a Swedish tobacco company to reverse an EU ban on snus, a type of smokeless tobacco. Dalli was the European commissioner for health at the time, in charge of managing reforms to the EU’s tobacco rules. Zammit was charged in December 2012 for trading influence and complicity in the request.
Dalli quit his EU post in October 2012, and claimed that former Commission President José Manuel Barroso forced him out after presenting him with a report from OLAF, the bloc’s anti-fraud office.
Giovanni Kessler, who was then head of OLAF, said there was “unambiguous circumstantial evidence” that Dalli knew about the bribery attempt.
In 2019, the EU’s General Court rejected Dalli’s claim for compensation for damages he claims he suffered as a result of losing his job.
Dalli never faced charges in Malta. He returned to the country in 2013, after the newly-elected Labour government removed police commissioner John Rizzo, who said Dalli had a case to answer, from his post.
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