The Malta Independent 5 August 2021, Thursday

John Dalli blasts Repubblika as ‘exalted puppets’, attacks Daphne Caruana Galizia

Wednesday, 21 July 2021, 09:48 Last update: about 14 days ago

John Dalli has demanded an apology from NGO Repubblika for associating him with corruption during a protest outside the police headquarters on Tuesday. 

Dalli’s face was one of numerous to be placarded onto the gates of the police headquarters on Tuesday, as Repubblika called for the police to take action against those with corruption allegations against them. 

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“A small group of exalted puppets who do not represent anyone but act as if they are running this country have decided to associate me with corruption, as their leaders have been doing for the past 35 years”, Dalli, a former PN minister and later Joseph Muscat advisor, said in a statement late on Tuesday night. 

He questioned whether they were referring to the “numerous calumnies invented” by journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, whom he described as a “perverse criminal” or whether they were referring to “fraud” by the former head of the EU anti-fraud agency OLAF. 

Dalli suggested that Caruana Galizia was given “impunity” by the Labour government when he took action against her for harassment, and that she had invented stories linking him to Egrant, 17 Black, and the privatisation of hospitals. 

“They prevented the police from proceeding with an investigation which the police had started”, Dalli said of the Labour government. 

Dalli suggested that Repubblika may have confused him “with someone who stole millions in the oil scandal, or who acted as a "nominee" to register in Malta companies for the Mafia or for a PPP from Africa, or who illegally changed the conditions of land contracts.” 

He said that he expects these “nonentities who are boosted by the corrupt media in Malta” to substantiate their allegations or make an apology.

In a post on social media, Repubblika President Robert Aquilina said that it was Angelo Gafa himself who in 2015 told a parliamentary committee that, in 2013, the police had written advice from the Attorney General to take proceedings against him to court.

He reminded that Gafa, in an interview he gave last September, said that he still believes that there is a case against Dalli.

Aquilina said that Dalli’s request for an apology proves the “ridiculous” levels that the country has come to in the last years.

“It’s surreal that the person who the Police Commissioner eight years ago said should be taken to court, instead of being taken to court is releasing statements demanding apologies from those who quote the Commissioner himself”, he said.

The NGO on their part seemed to respond to Dalli's statement, saying that he was wanted on suspicion of "corruption, fraud, money laundering, and grand larceny."

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