Former Police Commissioner John Rizzo said in court today that he had wanted to arraign former EU Commissioner John Dalli and the Attorney General was of the same view.

Mr Rizzo was giving testimony in the case against Silvio Zammit, who is accused of trading in influence. Mr Zammit allegedly sought a bribe to bring about changes in the EU's Tobacco Directive, which Mr Dalli was responsible for.

Mr Dalli stepped down from the European Commission after it was claimed that he knew of the alleged trading in influence. He denied the claims.

Mr Rizzo in his testimony spoke about police investigations and replied to questions by lawyer Edward Gatt.

He said there was a lot of pressure surrounding the case. The pressure came from the media and parliament, but he denied any pressure from the then prime minister.

Mr Rizzo said he did not discuss the case with Dr Gonzi or any ministers.

Dr Gonzi never asked him about the case, and he only mentioned it to him in passing when the then prime minister asked to speak to him about Judge Ray Pace, which was a separate case.

GAYLE KIMBERLY

Mr Rizzo was also asked about Gayle Kimberly, the local representative of Swedish Match who according to an OLAF (the EU anti fraud agency)  recommendation, should have been charged.

Mr Rizzo said the police did not have enough evidence against her. Olaf had reached their own conclusions. The police started their own fresh investigations, and in fact, Olaf did not know many things which the police said. He spoke to Dr Kimberly three times and the police interviewed her intensely.

The decision whether or not to arraign her was taken in association with the Attorney General.

JOHN DALLI

Asked specifically about John Dalli, Mr Rizzo said that together with his investigative team, it was decided that there was enough evidence to arraign Mr Dalli. The case was presented to the Attorney General, who was of the same view.

Mr Rizzo did not say why Mr Dalli was not arraigned.

 

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