[LISTEN]:OLAF accused of using "illegal means"

The EU’s anti-fraud body, OLAF, has allegedly told Johan Gabrielsson, an official from the snus company Swedish Match, a key player in the John Dalli affair, to stick to his original story suggesting the former health commissioner accepted a bribe through an associate, despite knowing that a key witness, lawyer Gayle Kimberly, lied about the meeting, in which she alleged Dalli wanted a €60m pay-off to change the contents of the EU’s tobacco directive.

Dr. Gayle Kimberly, lied about a meeting central to the investigation, according to a representative of Swedish Match, the firm at the heart of the story.

Johan Gabrielsson, an official from the snus company Swedish Match, told Green MEP José Bové that Dalli had never held a meeting with tobacco lobbyist Gayle Kimberley, contradicting the OLAF inquiry. The conversation was recorded by Bové and published by news portal New Europe.

Gabrielsson said he was pressured by OLAF to conceal his knowledge that the meeting never took place when he appeared before Parliament on 9 January.

Bové, a Green MEP from France, made the revelation during a Parliament press briefing on Thursday (21 March) after meeting with Gabrielsson and a spokesperson from Swedish Match's communications department in Brussels a day before.

"I know that she [Kimberley] wasn’t in the second meeting, but that I found out when OLAF told me," Gabrielsson said said on a tape, which Bové played at the press briefing.

"The story I was told when I came to Malta on the 13th of February [2012], when I talked to Gayle, and also when she called me on the 10th of February, she lied to me. She said that she had been in the meeting," Gabrielsson stated.

The witness, Gayle Kimberly, lied about a meeting central to the investigation, according to a representative of Swedish Match, the firm at the heart of the story.

Gabrielsson's company, Swedish Match, hired Kimberley for €5,000 to try to meet with the health commissioner and lift an EU ban on snus, a smokeless tobacco product that is popular in Sweden but cannot be exported to the rest of the EU.

In his revision of the Tobacco Products Directive, Dalli had maintained the ban on snus tobacco.

"We were just sure that [the Commission’s] DG Sanco was running the whole process themselves and that Dalli didn't even know what kind of product snus is," Gabrielsson revealed.

"I called her [Kimberley] because she is in Malta. I just came up with the idea of calling her and ask what she thinks, it was completely innocent. 'Do you have any information, do you know what we could do?' We had tried to get meetings with Dalli, but had been ignored. The big companies however, as far as I know, met with Dalli and his cabinet," Gabrielsson said.

Kimberley did meet Dalli during one meeting, but according to Gabrielsson she was not allowed into a second one where the Maltese entrepreneur Silvio Zammit was present.

Zammit is alleged to have asked snuff giant Swedish Match for €60 million in return for persuading Dalli to change the EU’s draft tobacco directive.

Zammit had also told Gabrielsson that Kimberley was present at the meeting.

In December 2012, Dalli filed a complaint for defamation against Swedish Match in the Court of First Instance in Belgium. Dalli has denied any impropriety and said he was wrongly forced to resign.

The EPP Group spokeswoman in the Budgetary Control Committee of the European Parliament, Inge Gräßle, has called on Thursday, for the resignation of the Director-General of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), Giovanni Kessler.

EU Health Commissioner, John Dalli, resigned on 16 October 2012.

See also: 
MEP Gräßle: OLAF Director-General Kessler has to go
Dalligate: Lawyer Gayle Kimberly to testify
Zammit's case put off as OLAF report kept secret





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Comments (6)

l fenech

- Fri 22-Mar-2013, 09:44

Kellu bzonn il-PL jiehu interess f'dak li ghamlu lil John Dalli. Dan kien qed iservi lil Malta fi Brussel u fuq kollox malti bhalna.

Mario Salerno

- Fri 22-Mar-2013, 09:10

The truth will always come out. Dallli John will come out with flying colours. A perfect Alfred Hitchock novel. Unbelievable what a frame- up. Shame on the culprits.


- Fri 22-Mar-2013, 08:20

@S.S. This EU is mirroring our own rotten political system as practised by the previous administration. Why do you think GonziPN was so enamoured with the EU? Time to change!

Jonas Cord Jr.

- Fri 22-Mar-2013, 07:55

"OLAF and the Maltese police tells Swedish Match it is preferable to keep saying Dalli was at both meeting as it would not help if the truth came out..."
This is a scandal within a scandal. The Dalli investigation looks more like a KGB and a STASI investigation. After the revelation of the foregoing should not the top echelons who were involved in the investigation tender their resignation?
Is this the Europe we were promised to be joining? In hind sight one is of the opinion that Mr Alfred Sant was right when he told us that we were not ready and prepared to join the EU. What is done is done but we should at least be always on the lookout.


- Fri 22-Mar-2013, 07:47

What kind of Europe is this?

Paul Sammut

- Fri 22-Mar-2013, 06:39

Well if this is the case there are more questions to be answered, besides that all those involved has to be removed or let go of their psition ! More than that, court action should be taken against those who tried to frame Mr Dalli. Resigning is not enough !! This is very very serious !


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