The Malta Independent 20 November 2018, Tuesday

‘I don’t remember’: common phrase by player who approached others to lose Malta match v Montenegro

Kevin Schembri Orland Monday, 10 October 2016, 16:52 Last update: about 3 years ago

Seyble Zammit, a football player who had admitted to charges in relation to a match-fixing scandal, used the phrase ‘I don’t remember’ countless times during cross-examination today in the case against Ronnie Mackay, 34 from St Julian’s,who  is being accused of trying to fix a match.

Mr Zammit had previously pleaded guilty in court, however the court did not punish him because of his collaboration with the police.

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The passcode to Mr Seyble’s phone was required by the court expert who was assigned to examine it, however, Mr Zammit could not remember it. He told the court that the police had previously asked him for this and he tried to remember, giving two possibilities which the court expert had previously tried. These however did not unlock the phone. Mr Zammit said that he would normally just swipe his thumb and it would work. The expert, however, explained that once the phone goes off, then a pin is required to unlock it.

During the compilation of evidence, being heard before Magistrate Joe Mifsud, Mr Seyble claimed that Mackay was the person who approached him in the first place, and that he vaguely knew of Mackay before that. He claimed that Mackay had called him on his phone, however he had never given him the number.

He told the Court, while being cross-examined by defence lawyer Dr Gianella de Marco, that he had approached other players, telling them that there was someone who wanted to fix the game, referring to Malta vs Montenegro Under 21 game.

Dr de Marco quoted from a statement made by player Luke Montebello, who said that he was approached by Mr Zammit, and met him in a car with another player, Kyle Cesare. “He said that Seyble told him to fix the match, and that he didn’t accept and exited the car. Is this true?” Dr de Marco asked. Mr Seyble said that Montebello didn’t give him chance to say much before exiting the car.

Dr de Marco then said that Mr Montebello testified that Mr Seyble offered him €2,500 or €3,000, and that Mr Seyble didn’t mention arranging a meeting with anyone else. Mr Zammit said he doesn’t remember this, and only remembered saying that he wanted Luke to meet Mr Mackay..

“You are saying that he left without giving you a chance to say much. He is saying that you offered him to lose the game, offering him the aforementioned amount”. Mr Seyble said he didn’t remember that.

Mr Seyble said he met with many players back then. Asked how many, he said he didn’t remember. “Six to seven months isn’t a long time,” Dr de Marco said, referring to the time since the alleged match-fixing attempt occurred

He then proceeded to name a few of the players.

“Do you try to fix matches often?”, dr de Marco asked. “No, this was the first time”, he replied.

“If I were to say that a year before you made a similar offer to other players, what would you say?” dr de Marco asked. “You’re mistaken,” he said.

The prosecution objected to the above question.

Asked whether he was known for match-fixing, Mr Seyble said no.

In the case of Kyle Cesare, he said that he had entered Kyle Cesare’s car in Pieta, and they waited for Mr Mackay who brought an Asian person to the car.

Dr de Marco asked what the conversation was about, to which Mr Seyble said that Mr Cesare and the Asian man basically shook hands, said “ok” and “confirmed” and the Asian man left.

Dr de Marco pressed him on what conversation in the car was about given that they spent around five minutes inside, to which he eventually said he did not remember.

He also told the court that the fixing for that match was cancelled as not enough players agreed.

Dr Gianluca Caruana Curren is also appearing for the defence.

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