June 10, 2013 / 11:44 AM / 4 years ago

Malta rules out legal action against former EU Commissioner

VALLETTA (Reuters) - Malta does not have enough evidence to start criminal proceedings against former EU Health Commissioner John Dalli in a bribery case, Malta’s Police Commissioner Peter Paul Zammit said on Monday.

John Dalli, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, speaks at a news conference at the EC headquarters in Brussels July 17, 2012. REUTERS/Eric Vidal

Dalli resigned in October after OLAF, the EU’s anti-fraud agency, said there was circumstantial evidence he was aware former assistant, Silvio Zammit, was seeking a bribe to arrange a meeting between him and tobacco group Swedish Match.

Swedish Match had itself told the Commission that a Maltese businessman asked it for 60 million euros ($78 million) in order to use his links to Dalli to get him to propose an end to an EU export ban on snus, a snuff that is the company’s main product.

Dalli always denied the allegations and is suing the European Commission for wrongful dismissal.

Silvio Zammit, on trial in Malta, has pleaded innocent.

Reporting by Chris Scicluna; Editing by Louise Ireland

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