Lawyer and ESTOC lobbyist could have worked together in Brussels institutions

Swedish Match lobbyist on ESTOC team worked in European Commission's DG on EU enlargement when Gayle Kimberley was at legal services for European Council on enlargement policy.

John Dalli has refused to confirm the identity of the lawyer, Gayle Kimberley, who would have been present at a 6 January meeting with Silvio Zammit.
John Dalli has refused to confirm the identity of the lawyer, Gayle Kimberley, who would have been present at a 6 January meeting with Silvio Zammit.

Updated at 5:34pm with LGA comment on consultant's role.

A former European Commission official identified as a 'link' to a Maltese lawyer acting for the European Smokeless Tobacco Association, could explain further the chain of communication that led to a meeting with former EU commissioner John Dalli.

The former EC official is today a lobbyist for Swedish Match inside ESTOC.

According to MaltaToday's sources, both Gayle Kimberley - a former member of the legal services at the European Council - and former EC official Johan Gabrielsson, share a connection through ESTOC and their former employers in Brussels.

Former commissioner John Dalli has refused to name or confirm the identity of the 'young Maltese lawyer' with whom he held an informal meeting with Sliema businessman Silvio Zammit on 6 January 2012 to discuss matters concerning the EU's ban on snus, the Swedish smokeless tobacco that is also produced by Swedish Match.

Kimberley, who has refused to entertain requests for comment from the press, spent six years between 2004 and 2011 working at the European Council's legal services in Brussels, where at one point she handled European enlargement policy.

It was during this time that Gabrielsson, an official with the European Commission, was also employed within the Commission's directorate-general for EU enlargement (a separate institution from the Council) where both he and Kimberley were to some extent involved in inter-institutional work on EU enlargement policy.

Today, Gabrielsson forms part of snus lobby ESTOC's communication and policy committee, on behalf of Swedish Match AB.

"I have not yet read the OLAF report so I will not mention anybody or implicate anybody in this case, the details of which I am not yet aware... I don't have the facts as they have been reported in this report," John Dalli told MaltaToday.

Dalli has also denied meeting anybody else but Silvio Zammit on a 10 February meeting first reported by the Wall Street Journal as being the day Zammit told a Swedish Match lobbyist that reversing the EU's ban on snus would cost €60 million.

"We spoke about Zammit's candidature for the Sliema local council," Dalli told MaltaToday of the meeting.

Swedish Match claim that the lawyer Dalli met reported to them the bribe solicited by Zammit on 10 February, a meeting which Dalli says never took place.

It is also alleged that the former commissioner was not present when the request was made, having left the meeting early.

Swedish Match have also claimed that Dalli was reported to have said lifting the ban on snus was "political suicide" even though he had "the will, the arguments and the Commission's support to lift the ban" - according to The Times.

The LGA said that Kimberley resigned from the post of manager legal EU affairs in the authority in May 2012, occupying the post till June 2012, following which she was retained as a consultant on EU affairs for a period of six months.

An LGA official also confirmed that during her employment, Kimberley was and is precluded from pursuing private work in activities that are directly or indirectly regulated by the lotteries and gaming authority.

It is not yet understood what role Silvio Zammit, a PN grassroots stalwart who also has a betting shop licence from the LGA, served in the meeting between Kimberley and Dalli, although Zammit is known to be a former canvasser of Dalli in the tenth district.

John Dalli was asked to resign by commission president José Manuel Barroso last week on 16 October following an investigation by the European Union's anti-fraud office OLAF. The report concluded that Dalli was aware of but did not report an attempt by a Maltese businessman to bribe the tobacco company Swedish Match by demanding €60 million in exchange for influencing draft legislation.

qabel ma titlesta l-investigazzjoni u johrog ir rapport hadd ma jista jghid x'gara. pero dalli jidher li qed jahbi certa informazzjoni u dan jippublika wara li tkun harget fil gurnali jew fl-ahbarijiet. jien ghalija dalli mhux qed ikun konvint f'dak li jghid. bhala malti nixtieq li ma jkun hemm l-ebda prova ta frodi f'dan il kaz imma wisq nibza li kif qed igig ruhu dalli xi haga hazina hemm.
he is fighting for his life and he refuses to give the name of the young lawyer. Then we are suppose to believe he is innocent.
This is what the EU is all about. When an extremely small nation has to fit within structures suited to very large nations. This is what happens when you have too few citizens (being chosen political sycophants from within a very restricted circle) chewing at too many teethers.
So whilst employed by the Gaming Authority she was also employed by the Swedish company to talk to Dalli? Dan mhux curcumstanial evidence ta nuqqas ta ethics? Jew dawn jghoddu biss ghal Dalli?