On behalf of the prosecution, Inspector Raymond Cremona and Assistant Commissioner Michael Cassar cross-examine each other.
|Former Assistant Police Commissioner Michael Cassar|
Allegedly colluded with Disgraced Former
EU Commissioner John Dalli
to frame Joseph Ellul-Grech
Today 30th November 1999
Joseph Ellul Grech
presence of the defendant states.
M. Cassar: On the 15th November 1999 I was asked to attend at Minister John Dalli’s office by the Police Commissioner where Minister John Dalli handed me an envelope that is exhibited and identified here as doc RC17. In the envelope there are three sheets of paper, one of the letters, a bank statement from Midland Bank Corporation of Jersey Ltd., with a balance of GBP346, 129.09 (bank statement published in the media was in US$ (see picture below) in the name of John Dalli, of 272 Main Street, Balzan, Malta. There is also a covering letter giving an explanation why this is being sent together with copies of two newspaper articles. “Minister’s declaration personal income, assets and declaration of Ministers.
Prosecution: The court is marking these documents as doc RC17.
M. Cassar: My witness is on document RC17.
Prosecution: The witness is giving witness on document RC17.
M. Cassar: Minister Dalli told me that this was a false document. He told me that this ccount was his but he had closed it in 1987, he also told me that the dates could have never ………….
Court: The witness is referring to the document that the previous witness(John Dalli) referred to in his witness.
M. Cassar: Now, I had arrived in saying, when I was questioning Minister Dalli about this account. He gave me this letter with three documents and I asked him about this account and in fact these were fabricated because the dates 1st June 1994, 9th September 1994 and 7th September were definitely not correct because the account had not been in use since 1987…..(No evidence was ever submitted to the court to confirm that the account was closed on the date stipulated (1987) by John Dalli).He also remarked that in 1987 he was not living at 272 Main Street, Balzan.(No evidence was submitted to confirm this). He also said that this was a one day notice US Dollar account and the interest rate of 9% shown did not refer to a US Dollar account but sterling.
(This is incorrect; examining the bank statement that was circulated the debit entry on the 7th September 1994 of US$23, 919.01 is listed as deposit. If this statement was original then the account was active at that date).
Obviously even the amounts are wrong, meaning fabricated. I asked if he had any suspects and he indicated at the defendant Joseph Ellul Grech who I recognize in this court as the accused that could have fabricated and produced this document and could have circulated it.
(By this time Michael Cassar knew that the police had not found any stationery at the defendants home that matched the stationery that was used. He also knew that while the defendant was under arrest and continuous surveillance for many days after the letters were still being distributed. He also knew that there were a number of people involved. However, as the person responsible from the investigation he chose to investigate the defendant only).
On this basis I informed Kevin Ellul Bonici who is in charge of the economic crime unit and also inspector Raymond Cremona and together with inspector Paul Caruana who is in the IT section and we went to Mr. Ellul Grech’s address in Kent Street, Fgura. We knocked on the door, Kevin Ellul Bonici and Inspector Raymond Cremona. He opened the door together with his wife and after we went in together with inspector Paul Caruana.
(This is not correct. Prior to opening the front door the police informed the defendant that they were there to conduct a search of the property. The defendant asked if they had a warrant. Michael Cassar replied, “We are warranted officers, we do not need a warrant. The defendant let them in without objection and co-operated with the police).
(Kevin Ellul Bonici was the officer in charge of the economic crime unit, yet he is hardly mentioned in the investigation and for reasons known to the Police Commissioner he was eliminated from the investigation. WHY?)
I identified myself and he asked us why we were there and I told him that we where there to conduct a search regarding this crime. In fact we went into his study and started where he had his computer that was shut down. At that moment he told me that the computer had a virus and that he had just had it repaired. He said that he had just replaced the hard drive. I asked him who did the repairs. At first he said it was a friend of his that did the repairs and he refused to give me his name, then he said it was himself that did the repairs. Later he said that he removed the hard drive, jumped on it, broke it and all the time kept changing his version. He was not consistent at all with what he was saying. On his long desk there was several documents and also in the wall unit that was behind him.
(Michael Cassar neglected to say that the defendant co-operated with the police despite the ill treatment and long hours of questioning under duress and without legal representation. Assistant Police Commissioner Michael Cassar failed in his duty to be impartial and to exercise duty of care towards the defendant).
Among these documents there was attached a bundle of documents that are already exhibited and are marked doc RC7 that I recognize and see. Among these I saw a document that we left together, not because they are relevant to the case but as to give an indication how the items were found and how they were found, these are personal documents. In fact the relevant document to this case is document Y of Midland Bank Trust, Jersey Corporation Ltd., and perhaps maybe the page behind it that is a cutting from a magazine in which there is Minister Dalli. However, what was relevant was this. In fact the document seems to be scanned and is part and is half of the statement that is part of this account. The name of the investor of this account is J. Dalli esquire, 272 Main Street, Balzan, Malta that is the same as the letters that were being sent to several homes. The top part was identical including the errors on it; at this stage one could not here say other than that the address was the same as those that were being sent in the homes.
(A few days before this John Dalli had given to Ellul Grech the copy of the bank statement lifted by the police from Ellul Grech’s home. This was confirmed in John Dalli’s witness and Ellul-Grech had informed the police of this but he was ignored. It also confirms that John Dalli was involved in the sending of these letters. Michael Cassar confirms that it was identical. This was the only piece of evidence the police had along with John Dalli’s false and malicious accusations).
(During the many hours of questioning under duress the defendant informed Michael Cassar and the other officers that the UK addresses were his. John Dalli would use the defendant’s address for mailing purposes. These statements also confirm that John Dalli had active off shore accounts in 1994 as Cassar confirms in his witness above. However, the police chose to overlook the evidence).
There were other documents and we seized document RC8 that is in the name of the defendant from National Westminster Bank. We searched through all documents that were there. Nothing was found that was relevant to this case. (Confirmation of the lack of evidence after conducting a six-hour search of the defendant’s property by six police officers).
At that time when I asked him regarding the three statements he voluntarily gave us, these were in his possession because he forgot about them when he used to look after Minister John Dalli financial affairs. (This confirms that the defendant co-operated with the police from the beginning).
He also said that he knew Minister John Dalli since they were children because they were brought up together and that he also was one of his canvassers for a period of time. He alleged that the documents that were being sent by him.
(“Him” meaning John Dalli. This confirms that Joseph Ellul-Grech protested his innocence and from early in the investigation he accused John Dalli of being involved in the sending of the anonymous letters. John Dalli had the motive, financial and human resources to organise the sending of these letters).
However, it was at that moment that he said that he had given that document to some one but he would not say who this person was. We went to the police general headquarters where we took a statement.
(The defendant accompanied the police of his own accord to help them with their enquiries despite the fact that he had been suffering from a renal colic attack and had been taking prescribed strong painkillers. Prior to leaving the defendant’s home Michael Cassar assured the defendant and his family that he would be back later that evening).
I also wish to add that we also seized some arms from his home. Among them was an air pistol, pellets, cross bow,mekal duster and three hunting knives. These were seized and are exhibited here and I recognize them.
(The arms seized were locked in a cupboard in the study. The air pistol was caliber .177 used for target practice. These air pistols have very little power and not considered dangerous. The cross bow was ornamental. The hunting knives were as described. These hunting knives were a lot smaller than the carving knives and cleavers that the defendant had in the family kitchen. These were more dangerous but Michael Cassar did not seize them).
The first statement was taken that same day on the 15 November at about 6.30pm. Inspector Raymond Cremona in the presence of PC824 Mercieca took this. I also state that I was present most of the time except for some short period also present was inspector Kevin Ellul Bonici but he had to leave because he was not feeling well.
(Michael Cassar fails to give the exact details of the ill-mannered and unacceptable way Joseph Ellul-Grech was treated. On arrival to police headquarters the defendant was taken to a very small office (approximately 2m X 3m) across from the gent’s toilet that smelled like a sewer. In it were two large desks, filing cabinets and a few chairs. Files piled up to the ceiling. PC on one desk where inspector Raymond Cremona sat and Kevin Ellul Bonici sat behind the other desk. PC824 Mercieca sat by the door. Inspector Paul Caruana (IT expert) stood behind the defendant together with Michael Cassar. The defendant was questioned under duress while under the influence of very strong prescribed painkillers).
In fact he confirmed again what he had said at his home. When we asked him to whom he had sent these statements to he said that some time back he divided the statement in two and faxed a copy of the part statement and he did this so that the amount will not be shown because he did not want to cause any damage to…