The Malta Independent 29 September 2021, Wednesday

Egrant Report: John Dalli describes Daphne as ‘a terrorist’, says she ‘lies about everyone’

Karl Azzopardi Wednesday, 18 December 2019, 15:32 Last update: about 3 years ago

Former minister and European Commissioner John Dalli described slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia as a terrorist, saying that she “lies about everyone”.

Dalli was testifying before than Magistrate Aaron Bugeja who was conducting an inquiry into allegations Caruana Galizia had made that a company opened in Panama named Egrant belonged to the Prime Minister’s wife. The full report of the inquiry was published by the Opposition Leader on Tuesday.

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Dalli testified before Bugeja on 22 April 2017, six months before the journalist was assassinated.

During the inquiry, Dalli was asked if he had any relations with Pilatus Bank, either in Malta or abroad. He confirmed that he had opened a bank account but no transactions had been made so much so that “the money was consumed in bank charges and the account was closed ages ago.”

In his testimony, Dalli said that he had no idea on when he had opened this account but added that he wasn’t a Minister and neither did he hold any other public responsibilities. He had no problem with the inquiry verifying this information as it would be accessible through the Pilatus Bank statements.

Dalli also mentioned that he wasn’t serving as a consultant of the Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. Muscat, he said, had requested that Dalli come up with a study about Mater Dei Hospital– “something that does not belong to any political party but to the people”. Dalli accepted the request and finished it in 2013. This was his last project as he stopped having any affiliations with the government from then onwards.

According to the Egrant report, Dalli referred to Daphne Caruana Galizia as a terrorist on the basis of certain speculations she had made on Dalli being the owner of Egrant.

“Your Honour, I would also like to say, and I have the cutting with me, in May of 2016, the same terrorist – because that’s how I refer to this woman – had said that I owned this Egrant company. She had a gut feeling she said, even though my name is never mentioned in the Panama papers.”

“She lies about everyone, she writes whatever she feels, and this is the case here. In fact, I would like to let you know months ago I made an appeal with the Police Force on harassment because I am fed up of her lying about me for all these years, and nothing has been done about it (police report) for six months. The Police Force said that someone from the Attorney General was holding them back and I would like to know who this person is.”

“It is also interesting for you to know that in May of 2016 the European Commission took away Giovanni Kessler’s immunity. The person who filed the report to have me investigated.” Dalli was referring to the European Anti-fraud Office report which forced his resignation from the post of European Commissioner.

“…it is all a conspiracy with Giovanni Kessler so that they make me look bad all over Malta and also abroad. This is why I call Daphne a terrorist. She stated that I wanted to open a trust in the Bahamas which is a lie coming from people they bribed. I even have documents that show how their discourse changed over the years.”

“It seems like, as soon as this woman opens her mouth, people are taken up to court and I can’t understand why she determines who goes to court or not. It’s true that I had opened an account in with Pilatus Bank, it was a new normal current account, I just wanted to see how the bank operates but never did so myself in reality.”

Dalli rejected any claims that he was involved in within a company or business that have accounts with Pilatus Bank either in Malta or abroad. He argued that stolen documents were being used and for something to be done about it.

“I recall that while I was in Parliament, I had approved certain laws where I said that the bank and banking transactions are all confidential. So now Daphne Caruana Galizia has immunity to break the law whenever she wants? I have a bank account as a citizen, should there be anyone – whoever they are – who can broadcast what bank accounts I have?”

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