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Dalligate - Witness reveals she had lunch with OLAF investigator after interrogation

Kessler warned her 'to be very afraid' of Dalli, Zammit

Gayle Kimberly

Gayle Kimberly

The OLAF investigator in the John Dalli case, Giovanni Kessler, had warned Gayle Kimberley, the lawyer representing Swedish Match in Malta to be 'very afraid' of Mr Dalli and his former canvasser Silvio Zammit. Mr Kessler told her that he was Italian, and he knew how things worked.

The warning was revealed in court by Dr Kimberley herself as she continued to testify in the case against Mr Zammit, who stands accused of trading in influence and demanding €60 million to bring about changes in EU tobacco rules to allow EU-wide trading of snus smokeless tobacco.

Dr Kimberley also revealed that after she was interrogated for seven hours by Dr Kessler and another investigator in Portugal, Dr Kessler took her out of the room and they went to have lunch together.

During today's sitting, Dr Kimberley said that after she and Johann Gabrielson, a representative of snus-maker Swedish Match, had a meeting with Mr Zammit, Mr Gabrielson told her that he intended to inform the company of the €60 million request which Mr Zammit made.

Later, he informed her that that the company had refused the offer.

She said that Mr Gabrielson called her in March and told her he had heard that Mr Zammit was talking to another person Inge del Fosse, (the representative of the snus tobacco lobby) and trying to reach a deal through her. Mr Zammit had reportedly mentioned Dr Kimberley.

The witness said she confronted Mr Zammit about this, and he denied he ever mentioned her. He said he was speaking to del Fosse about other matters.

At one time, Dr Kimberley said, she had a confrontation with Iosif Galea, her former lover, because she had news of a personal nature and wanted to stop the relationship. They had a violent incident during which he dragged her across the lobby of the gaming authority office.

Silvio Zammit called her after the incident and asked her not to institute police proceedings against Mr Galea, and she agreed.

Silvio ZammitSilvio Zammit

She said while she was in Portugal for a gaming regulators' conference, two men from OLAF, including Dr Kessler, approached her and interrogated her for seven hours.

During the interrogation she was very stressed because she was not taking part in the conference, where she was meant to be, and because she had never been interrogated before.

The OLAF interrogators told her not to mention the interrogation to anyone and to 'be very afraid' of Mr Dalli and Mr Zammit. Dr Kessler said he was Italian, and knew how things worked.

After the lunch with Dr Kessler, she got back to her room and threw up.

She said she told Mr Galea what happened and he promised not to tell anyone.

But the day after she returned to Malta, she received a call from Mr Zammit. She did not say anything about the interrogation, but then he told her that Mr Dalli had told him that OLAF were asking questions. He told her he was not worried as he had not done anything wrong.

During this time, Dr Kimberley said, she was still trying to break off her relationship with Mr Galea. But at one time Mr Galea phoned her and asked her why she had sent a particular document to OLAF.

She later realised he had accessed her Gmail account without her consent using her simple password - the name of her son.

THE INTERROGATION

Giovanni KesslerGiovanni Kessler

Giving details of the OLAF interrogation, Dr Kimberley said that questioning her for seven hours, Dr Kessler took her out of the room and told her he wanted to have lunch and wine and to relax.

He told an assistant to type out a statement while they were at lunch.

After lunch they returned to the interrogation room and Dr Kessler asked her to read the statement quickly as he wanted to catch a boat. He told her to sign the statement and not to worry as she would be able to correct it later.

She did not hear anything else until August when OLAF phoned. She asked them why she had not received a copy of the statement. She later received it, and during a second interview (in Malta) she told the OLAF officials that the statement was largely correct but she wanted to make some changes.

Dr Kessler became very agitated when she said she wanted to make some corrections.

During a third interview, in Brussels, she took a voice recorder with her and told the OLAF officials about it.

Dr Kimberley recalled that the OLAF officials interviewed Mr Zammit in Malta in July. The OLAF officials told her that Mr Zammit was very angry and they feared for her safety and told her not to leave her house.

On the day she had a wedding and her husband was going abroad. She decided to tell him, and he decided he would not leave the country when there was a risk to his family. He decided to confront Mr Zammit.

When he returned, he told her that Mr Zammit was not angry at all and had offered to help her.

Asked by Police Inspector Angelo Gafa' whether she was ever intimidated or threatened over this case, she said the only intimidation tactics were from her Mr Galea, ever since she wanted to break the relationship.

He had threatened to smash her face or disable her car brakes, but he never made direct threats about this case.

The case continues.

 

 

 

 

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