The Malta Independent 29 January 2023, Sunday
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Watch: Real manipulators were Swedish Match not Silvio Zammit - John Dalli

Jacob Borg Tuesday, 31 March 2015, 09:45 Last update: about 9 years ago

In part two of the interview with former EU Commissioner John Dalli, Mr Dalli speaks to Jacob Borg about causes of his resignation, insisting that the real culprits are the tobacco lobby and Olaf chief Giovanni Kessler


Last Sunday you issued a statement saying ‘Kessler shown as a manipulator’, if anything wasn’t it Silvio Zammit who was manipulating the whole situation, calling for bribes and name dropping?

Listen, Silvio Zammit is alleged to have done what he is reported here to have done. The question is the manipulation of the whole situation. The fact that when one reads Olaf’s report, when one reads all the statements made after that even by Swedish Match themselves. When one compares what happened, and I went into fine detail, one actually sees that the real manipulators were Swedish Match.

But Silvio Zammit was the spark over there, he light the whole situation.

Listen, listen. The real manipulators were Swedish Match. Swedish Match created the plot. Swedish Match planned the plot...

In conjunction with Silvio Zammit...

No, no, no, alone. Silvio Zammit was one of the people brought into the plot with Gayle Kimberley and all the others...

Unwittingly brought into the plot?

It’s not the issue. I don’t know, I was not with them. Unwittingly, wittingly. What I know is that it was Swedish Match who contacted Zammit and took him out to lunch. It was Swedish Match, Inge Delfosse from Estoc in fact, who made the overtures during that lunch on the issue of the directive...

Well, obviously as lobbyists they are going to make overtures, that is their job at the end of the day...

It is not obvious, excuse me. I am saying who was in the driving seat. These people were in the driving seat. It was Johan Gabrielsson who was running to-and-from Sweden and Malta, organising and training and coordinating all the players in the plot which he was directing.

He was director of this project. In fact, Patrik Hildingsson, who wore two caps, one cap was as a vice-chairman of Swedish Match, and the other cap was as a president of Estoc. He had two people reporting to him, Johan Gabrielsson and Inge Delfosse (photo).

At one point he tells Johan Gabrielsson, don’t have anything to do with Zammit. If it had stopped there it would have stopped there, full stop.

But then, he said this. The day after he was informed by his other dependent from Estoc that she was in contact with Zammit. Therefore Estoc goes into contact with Zammit, we have to still say how, who instigated this etc.

The day after, Hildingsson, her boss, tell his dependent in Swedish Match, ‘don’t have anything to do with Zammit.’ A couple of weeks later, this same Hildingsson is reported by Swedish Match themselves, this things are in public domain, he said he was discussing Zammit with Inge Delfosse, as if she didn’t know, and he told her, ‘be careful of Zammit.’

Here I start questioning, why the difference? Why to Hildingsson, his dependent in Swedish Match, he tell him, sever all relations with Zammit, and to Inge Delfosse, his other dependent in Estoc, he simply tells her, be careful of Zammit, when she was in contact with Zammit at the time.


Wait, wait. Let me continue. Your interest is Zammit, my interest is the truth.

But he was part of...

Now, now, let me continue, ok. And then, he tells her, be careful of Zammit. She was so careful of Zammit that in the morning of the following day, this is 16 March. In the morning, as soon as she went back to the office the following day, she fired off an email to Zammit, that’s how careful she was of him.

Telling him, can you make us an appointment? It was her initiative, not Zammit’s initiative, can you make us an appointment with Dalli and how much do you want for it. Again, I question, who was trading in influence here?

She was offering money for somebody to make an appointment with me. God bless, Delfosse is the Santa Rita of this world for Kessler. So, there is no record that Zammit answered her. I don’t have a record, I don’t know whether it exists anywhere, but I don’t have a record that Zammit answered her.

Therefore, about a week-and-a-half later she phoned him and recorded him illegally, asking the same questions. More than that, seeing that she knew she was recording him, she was mentioning my name to try and incriminate me.

Zammit was very sketchy, he did not really respond when she said ‘John, John’

I am concentrating on Swedish Match. I have already sued them in Belgium for defamation, I instituted that court case on 13 December 2012. In fact, that court case not only involved Swedish Match but has been extended to Olaf for complicity with Swedish Match.

There again, the things are moving very slowly.

On the 29 [March 2012], why was there communication between you and Zammit?

On the 29th, I remember because I made that very clearly already, Zammit phoned me when I was just opening a conference on GMOs, I had 300 people in front of me... I simply cut-off, it was eight seconds, I simply told him ‘I can’t talk to you.’

In a letter I wrote to Kessler, I told him that what I can now recall, because I couldn’t remember what we spoke about, for sure he was not talking to me about Snus. But, during that period, but Kessler is not interested in this because it does not fit his conclusions, the facts are that during that period not only was there a local election campaign, I think...or he was elected as vice-chairman...I don’t know what the dates really are...I think probably by that date he was elected as vice-mayor here.

At that time as well there was the tender for the lottery in Malta, because the award I had given seven years before had elapsed, and a new tender was issued. Zammit was involved in that tender. When I came to Malta after this happened, it was at the end of October, somebody told me that Zammit had opened a gaming shop in Malta.

Then I did recall, I said well, this is what he was talking to me about, since I had given the lotto tender seven year before, he was seeking advice, complaining that the finance minister was not acting fairly...

But those were very short conversations, what you are saying sounds like a much longer conversation...

No, no it’s not a question of a short conversation...

The logs show there were two short conversations on the 29th

On the 29th there was an eight second conversation, which was not a conversation, but which naturally Kessler uses because he is a manipulator, ok, uses for his own ends as if there was a conversation.

No, but now you are saying you recall the conversation about this lotteries matter...

Not that, afterwards I’m telling you. I phoned him afterwards. What I’m telling you is during this period Zammit used to call me about these issues, ok. The second telephone call was not eight seconds it was a little longer.

Exactly, you’re saying he was talking about this lotteries problem, it sounds like it would take a much longer conversation than a few seconds.

No, no, no. If he says...I don’t know how long it was...

40 seconds, something along those lines...

I don’t know. He could have been doing something, and I told him ‘I don’t know I am not interested.’ Ok. It could have been something like that. I know there must have been a lot of communication not only with Inge Delfosse. There was a lot of communication with the people responsible for the lotto during that period.

There was a lot of communication with Gayle Kimberley, who was also involved in the lottery issue since she was an employee of the gaming authority. This is again, what I think could have been happening, he was complaining, she was telling him about some issues, he was checking these issues with me. I mean, this is it.

Kessler is not interested in this. Kessler is a manipulator, and he invented all the conclusions here. He does not have any proof of anything. This is my accusation. Kessler is a fraud. Publish this so that he will sue me. I would like to have him on the stand with me asking questions.

Kessler is a fraud, ok. When he started, or when he was made to start this investigation, and I will tell you why, he already had the conclusion, he had to find something.

They had the big, big news that I met with Gayle Kimberley (photo) in this office, he said this was like my bedroom, all glass etc...

This he said is like meeting her in my bedroom, in this office. You can imagine how manipulative he is. He was made to start this, and he already had this conclusion. He had in his hands, this meeting which was described by Gayle Kimberley as ‘she was here, we had discussed, me had mentioned many things, I was ready to change the directive, and then I went out of the office, and then they started to discuss money together.’

This never happened, it was a lie. When he found it was a lie he had to find something else, and he started trying to put a mosaic of all these fictitious conjectures. 

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