Dalligate: Silvio Zammit arraigned, remanded in custody
Former Sliema deputy mayor Silvio Zammit was remanded in custody today after being taken to court and accused of bribery, trading in influence and relapsing. He pleaded not guilty.
The charges are related to the snus case which led to the resignation of EU Commissioner John Dalli.
Mr Dalli was forced to resign as European Health Commissioner in October when an OLAF investigation concluded there was “unambiguous circumstantial evidence” showing he knew that Mr Zammit, his former canvasser requested a large sum money from a Swedish tobacco company to lift an EU ban on snus – a smokeless form of tobacco which can only be sold in Sweden.
The agency’s director general, Giovanni Kessler, had said there was no conclusive evidence showing Mr Dalli was directly involved in anything illegal, but the former Commissioner was forced to resign by European Commission President Manuel Barroso because his position was deemed untenable in light of the findings.
The prosecution, led by Police Commissioner John Rizzo, Assistant Commissioner Michael Cassar and inspector Angelo Gafa included lawyers from the Attorney General's office Lara Lanfranco and Philip Galea Farrugia.
Inspector Gafa objected to bail saying that a witness in the case, Gayle Kimberly, had been approached about what to say during the investigation and because of this, Mr Zammit should be remanded in custody.
Defence counsel Chris Busietta and Melvin Mifsud argued that bail should not be denied because evidence could, in future, be tampered with, unless this fear was real.
Magistrate Miriam Hayman asked for the lawyers and the prosecution to approach the bench.
When they returned to their places the magistrate said bail was being denied until the important witnesses were heard.