The full report of the investigation by the European Union's anti-fraud agency OLAF which resulted in the forced resignation in October of John Dalli, former European commissioner for health, has been published by a Maltese newspaper.
Until now the report had only been seen by a few people including OLAF, Commission President José Manuel Barroso and the Maltese authorities. Dalli himself had not yet seen the charges against him.
The document, posted yesterday (28 April) by the newspaper Malta Today, reveals a more involved role for the 37-year-old lobbyist working for Swedish Match, Gayle Kimberly.
The OLAF report says Kimberly, who is a former employee of the European Council's legal service, was involved in the offer made by Silvio Zammit to Swedish Match to end the EU ban on smokeless tobacco product snus in exchange for €70 million.
The two may have been accomplices, the report says. So far, only Zammit has been charged with a crime, while Kimberly has been treated as first a witness.
The report also says that Zammit made the same offer to end the snus ban to the European Smokeless Tobacco Council (ESTOC). However the report does not conclude at any point that Dalli was involved in the scheme. But two pages are missing from the report.
Centre-right German MEP Inge Gräßle said the report “confirms the impression of a biased and partly amateurish investigation by OLAF, coupled with violations of basic rights.”
But she complained that the report is still missing pages and that the parts that are available seem incomplete. “The part of the report now accessible is full of speculation, assertions and obviously uncritical repetition of witness accounts". Gräßle has called for OLAF head Giovanni Kessler to resign over what she says is a mishandling of the Dalli investigation.
Dalli has recently suffered from ill health, which has delayed the investigation against him in Malta.