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REVEALED • Dalligate - the OLAF report

Silvio Zammit tried his luck with ESTOC and then Swedish Match used Barroso’s former head of the legal service to set the EU wheels in motion.

Matthew Vella
28 April 2013, 12:00am
Exclusive: OLAF report published.


IMP Documents missing pages 14-15 and missing interview with DG-Sanco Paola Testori Coggi

FULL REPORT Download the OLAF report from Google Docs

or read on Scribd


Gayle Kimberley, the lobbyist whom Swedish Match paid €5,000 to secure access to John Dalli, was an accomplice with Silvio Zammit in the preparation and facilitation of contacts and the alleged bribe requests that brought down the former EU commissioner.

The 37-year-old lawyer and former employee of the European Council's legal service was clearly identified by the EU's anti-fraud office, OLAF, as having been involved in the attempt to ask Swedish Match and the European Smokeless Tobacco Council (ESTOC) for €60 million and €10 million, respectively, by creating the impression that John Dalli could reverse the EU's ban on snus, the smokeless tobacco that Swedish Match produces.

The revelation is manifestly spelt out in the 43-page report that OLAF made of its investigation between May and September 2012, which states that both Silvio Zammit and Gayle Kimberley could have been accomplices in the alleged offence of bribery or trading in influence.

The report, obtained by MaltaToday despite having been kept under wraps by the Maltese police and the Attorney General, even during the ongoing judicial proceedings against Silvio Zammit, raises serious questions as to why the Maltese police refused to charge Kimberley when OLAF described her as "a person concerned."

"Ms Kimberley was initially considered a witness, but based on the information gathered in the course of the investigation her status was changed to that of a person concerned (August 2012)," OLAF said in its final report.

"According to evidence collected it has ben ascertained that Kimberley was not telling the truth... depending on the interpretation of facts, she might be responsible for bribery or trading in influence."

So far, Kimberley is being treated as a witness in the compilation of evidence against Zammit in Malta, where he is charged with bribery, trading in influence and money laundering. The impression given by prosecuting officers is that Kimberley - who became a person of interest in the OLAF investigation after her initial interrogation in Portugal on 14 June 2012 - is that she was not involved in Zammit's bribe request.

In the course of investigations, OLAF found that Kimberley lied to Swedish Match when she claimed that she was present at a 10 February 2012 meeting with Dalli and Zammit, where the issue of money being exchanged in return for lifting the snus ban was floated.

The OLAF report, which has emerged six months after Dalli resigned on 16 October, after being read a covering letter to the report by European Commission president José Barroso, also categorically states that there is "no conclusive evidence of the direct participation" of Dalli "either as instigator or as mastermind of the operation of requesting money in exchange for the political services as expressed by Silvio Zammit."

However, according to OLAF chief Giovanni Kessler's letter to Attorney General Peter Grech on 17 October, "there are a number of unambiguous and converging circumstantial items of evidence gathered in the course of the investigation, indicating that Commissioner John Dalli was actually aware of both the machinations of Silvio Zammit and the fact that the latter was using his name and position to gain financial advantages."

This claim had been made clear by Kessler in his press conference of the same date in Brussels.

And this very same conclusion appears to have been made based solely on the telephone calls made between Silvio Zammit and John Dalli.

Unknown or not to Kessler - but either way, conveniently omitted - is the entire list of telephone calls that Silvio Zammit made to not just John Dalli, but other PN and government officials that day, such as PN secretary-general Paul Borg Olivier, former minister Michael Refalo and then minister George Pullicino, conversations which could very well have been related to political 'gossip'.

But Kessler also posited two scenarios: that if both Zammit and Kimberley were acting on behalf of Dalli, then they should be accused as accomplices in bribery; or if they were misusing Dalli's name "to create credibility in the perception" of Swedish Match and ESTOC, then they should be charged with trading in influence.

So far, only Zammit has been charged for having allegedly requested €60 million from Swedish Match and then €10 million from ESTOC, in a bid to reverse the EU ban on the sale of snus, which Swedish Match can only sell in Sweden.

Kimberley, on the other hand, is a witness in this case, but police have given no indication of charges being issued against her.
Matthew Vella

After graduating in anthropology he joined MaltaToday...
joe cassar
What the hell is happening in Catholic, European, Demochristian, religio et patria u x`naf jien....Maltatoday is certainly doing its bit in cleansing the situation ..but what about the other newspapers...that monument of democracy The Times...Independent, Orizzont..u x`naf jien, either they have no ba..s, or are under complete control of the establishment where each rubs the other`s back.This is not to mention Peppi and co, who earn a mighty euro by being biased and present programmes on frogs ants and magic to create a mind smokescreen to cover the real workings of Maltese high society
Mikiel Il-Gurdien
Tghid jaqrah Loo Bondi u Peppi Azzopardi jew Pierre Portelli u Norman Vella u jghamlu xi program fuq dan ir-Rapport fuq lis- STAZZJON NAZZJONALI ????
maltesecross
the pages of the report could have heen scanned in a cronological order.
Erik Wesselius
My sincere congratulations to Matthew Vella and Malta Today for publishing OLAF's 43-page report of its investigations into the case of bribery or trading in influence that allegedly involved former Commissioner John Dalli and led to his forced dismissal. The OLAF report was thus far kept secret, which made public and parliamentary scrutiny of the case extremely difficult. This publication is an important step in order to establish what exactly happened in the Dalli affair, and to assess how the case has been handled by the EU authorities. It will be an ongoing news story for the coming months, that's for sure.
Erik Wesselius
My sincere congratulations to Matthew Vella and Malta Today for publishing OLAF's 43-page report of its investigations into the case of bribery or trading in influence that allegedly involved former Commissioner John Dalli and led to his forced dismissal. The OLAF report was thus far kept secret, which made public and parliamentary scrutiny of the case extremely difficult. This publication is an important step in order to establish what exactly happened in the Dalli affair, and to assess how the case has been handled by the EU authorities. It will be an ongoing news story for the coming months, that's for sure.
GRACE PAVIA
Only the imprisonment of the local guilty conspirators will heal Malta of this shame.
Dr Anthony Abela Medici
FRAME UP, FRAME UP AND MORE FRAME UP. John Dalli was framed once by GonziPN, and now it is becoming more evident that he was framed another time by GONZIPN + OLAF. The telephone calls to PN bosses by Silvio Zammit on the same day as the alleged call to John Dalli and the fact that OLAF ignored these calls, the fact that Kimberley was found to be an alleged accomplice to Silvio Zammit and yet no action was taken, and the fact that OLAF said that there was no direct evidence against John Dalli, and yet Barroso, our Judge and Jury, declared him guilty without right of reply is further indication of the underhandedness of such a frame up.
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