Former EU Commissioner John Dalli has accused MEPs of turning themselves into a “lynching mob” in a letter that he sent to MEPs complaining about the report on the rule of law in Malta which poses a number of questions on his links to a Dubai-based company 17 Black and his account with Pilatus Bank
In the report, MEPs said they did not know if Malta’s Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) established whether Dalli received any money from Dubai into his Pilatus Bank account.
In the letter seen by The Shift, Dalli reiterated that while he did have an account in Pilatus Bank this was never actively used. In reply to the report’s questions on whether the FIAU had investigated whether this account received money from Dubai, Dalli wrote “Had the Pana Committee asked me, instead of relying on their malicious informants, I would have told them this account was closed some time ago by the bank as it was inactive. The only transfer into this account was €1,000 used to open the account.”
The report also linked Dalli to the mysterious Dubai company 17 Black which, according to a leaked FIAU report, was created for the purpose of transferring kickbacks to Minister Konrad Mizzi and the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff Keith Schembri.
Accusing MEPs of “aping” slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia – who had accused Dalli of being in cahoots with Mizzi, Schembri and Prime Minister Joseph Muscat – the former PN stalwart said he has nothing to do with the Dubai-based company and asked “whose direction were they (Pana Committee) following.
The report also said that Jonathan Ferris who was sacked from the FIAU days after the June 2017 election had investigated Dalli over his dealings with tobacco lobbyists which led to his resignation as European Commissioner.
“The writer of the report of the Members of the Pana Committee seems to want to intimate (allude) that the resignation of Mr. Ferris was related to his investigation about me! Recent events contradict this allegation. This further shows the bad faith of the writer of this report,” Dalli said in his letter.
While demanding a meeting with the European Parliament’s PANA committee to explain himself on certain matters, Dalli accused MEPs of breaching the rule of law after denying him the opportunity to defend himself.
In his letter, Dalli said he was denied the “basic right to be heard when the report suggests that certain issues concerning myself ‘require explanation’… Instead of following the rule of law, they turned themselves into a lynching mob in the style of the wild west.”
Dalli – who resigned from his Brussels post after being investigated by the EU’s anti-fraud office over his dealings with tobacco lobbyists while the European Commission was formulating sensitive tobacco reforms – added that the report submitted to the European Parliament contained a number of “negative and false comments” about him and his family.