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Lobbyist Gayle Kimberley’s emails to Silvio Zammit throw new light on Dalligate

Matthew Kimberley’s firm paid Silvio Zammit €3,540 after mailing him a list of services and Gayle Kimberley’s CV to be sent to smokeless tobacco lobby ESTOC

matthew_vella
Matthew Vella
24 July 2013, 12:00am
On 2 March, Silvio Zammit was paid €3,540 by You Rock Ltd, the consultancy firm belonging to Gayle Kimberley's husband.
On 2 March, Silvio Zammit was paid €3,540 by You Rock Ltd, the consultancy firm belonging to Gayle Kimberley's husband.
In his approach to tobacco lobby ESTOC to propose lifting of the EU ban on snus, the man charged with soliciting a €60 million bribe which sparked an EU investigation into former commissioner John Dalli, could have been aided by a Swedish Match lobbyist and her husband.

Emails seen by MaltaToday show that Silvio Zammit was forwarded a proposal from Matthew Kimberley, with his wife Gayle Kimberley copied in the email, which was to be sent to Inge Delfosse, secretary-general of the European Smokeless Tobacco Council (ESTOC).

Some of the emails were sent from mobile phones, and copies were not saved in the hard discs that were forensically analysed by police investigators and presented in court in the compilation of evidence against Zammit, who is charged with trading in influence, bribery and money laundering. He denies the charges.

The emails have thrown a new light on the Dalligate affair, specifically with regards to the role played by Swedish Match lobbyist Gayle Kimberley, who was identified by the EU's anti-fraud agency, OLAF, as a possible accomplice in the alleged bribery.

A bank statement belonging to Silvio Zammit shows Matthew Kimberley's firm, You Rock Ltd, paid Zammit the sum of €3,540 on 2 March 2012, two weeks after Gayle Kimberley was asked by Swedish Match to sever all contact with Zammit.

In the meantime, Kimberley and Zammit were in constant telephonic and email contact.

But a 29 February 2012 email seen by MaltaToday shows Matthew and Gayle Kimberley sending Zammit the contents of a lobbying proposal, which had been sent first to Swedish Match back in November 2011.

 

 

The email contains a list of services offered by You Rock Ltd and Gayle Kimberley's curriculum vitae. It is an exact replica of the one sent by Kimberley to Swedish Match on 17 November 2011, in which she offered her services to set up meetings with Commissioner John Dalli for a €5,000 fee payable to You Rock Ltd.

In the email, Matthew Kimberley tells Zammit, "Silvio, suggest you forward this to Inge. Gayle is in copy. You may like to wait for her input before sending."

Tellingly, the email Zammit sent to ESTOC on 8 March 2012 - as seen in the OLAF report - has "Re: Copy/paste proposal" as its subject, left on from the original email sent to him by the Kimberleys.

The only difference from the November 2011 proposal is that references to meetings with the "Commissioner" were omitted in the email Zammit sent to Delfosse.

OLAF REPORT John Dalli by maltatoday

 

It is yet to be established whether the emails prove that the Kimberleys were assisting Zammit in his approach to ESTOC.

But it becomes very clear that Zammit's email set the ball rolling for Swedish Match's complaint to the European Commission.

In her reply to Zammit a week later, on 15 March 2012, Inge Delfosse admitted to having been confused by the You Rock proposal: "For me to introduce a new consultant to ESTOC I would need a more detailed offer, including a price (hourly rate or monthly retainer). The below is not concrete enough."

Sharing the same office in Brussels - certainly unbeknownst to Zammit - Delfosse informed ESTOC Chairman and Swedish Match Vice-president Patrik Hildingsson of the email. For his part, Hildingsson told Delfosse that Zammit had already offered Swedish Match to set up a meeting with Dalli for a €60 million fee, in a bid to lift the snus ban.

That same night at 11:32pm, Zammit told Delfosse this time that he was "offering these services alone and personally" and that he was using You Rock as consultants.

On 16 March, Delfosse emailed Zammit to inform him about "bad rumours" in Brussels, so that they could chat on the telephone.

On 29 March, Zammit called Delfosse, which conversation she recorded. It included his request for €10 million for a meeting "between my boss and your boss".

Kimberley's version

For her part, Kimberley told OLAF investigators that Zammit's email to Delfosse was a misrepresentation of her services.

Kimberley told OLAF that Swedish Match Public Affairs Director Johan Gabrielsson had informed her that Zammit was using You Rock Ltd to promote his services with ESTOC.

"I was told by Johan that Silvio was using to Inge my proposal of services to Swedish Match for himself and misrepresenting it, I was very upset... the next morning, coincidentally, I saw him at the reception of the Lotteries and Gaming Authority and told him that my services were no longer available, 'make it clear to whoever you are dealing with'. Silvio assured me that he would do this," Kimberley told OLAF in her second interrogation, on 9 September 2012.

matthew_vella
Matthew Vella is executive editor at MaltaToday.
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