The European Commission has not ruled out taking further action against former EU Commissioner John Dalli after revelations in the Pandora Papers that he did not declare an offshore company in the British Virgin Islands.
The EU Observer has quoted an EU Commissioner spokesperson as saying that it would first need to examine the breach before deciding whether to take it to a European Court.
“A possible reaction from the commission will depend on a range of factors,” said the spokesperson.
Dalli, the report says, could even lose his EU pension if the issue is taken up the courts. However, he could also just leave with a slap on the wrist.
A Maltese accountant-turned-politician, Dalli served in a long line of Nationalist governments between 1987 to 2010 before moving on to the European Commission.
He has faced scandal throughout his career and is now reportedly set to face charges over an attempted €60 million bribe from a smokeless tobacco lobby group to help overturn an EU-wide ban on snus.
The Pandora Papers is the latest treasure trove of financial records leaked from 14 different corporate service providers across the globe. Dalli, who forms part of the leak, was revealed to own Westmead Overseas Limited, a BVI company, using Alcogal, a Panamanian law firm, to conceal his links through a nominee company.
The company was set up in August 2006 and is not technically illegal. However, Dalli’s links to alleged corruption and scandal are well documented. It was struck off the registry in 2013,
“Westmead was formed to hold the equity of the project. The project never materialised and the company was not used,” Dalli told Times of Malta, adding that he had stepped away from the company upon being reinstated as a Minister in 2008.
However, he was insistent that he opened the company because of a tense atmosphere in Malta following his resignation a few years prior. He also denied any links to plans for a power station in Malta that would later transform into the controversial Electrogas project.
Dalli is also claiming that while serving as the European Commissioner, he was only required to list financial interests that may result in a conflict of interest.
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