TPD: Dalligate Timeline

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This page details the timeline of the ‘Dalligate’ controversy, when the European Union (EU) Health Commissioner was forced to resign as a result of a complex ‘cash for access’ lobbying scheme.1

Timeline concerning the ‘Cash for Access’ controversy dubbed ‘Dalligate’, 2010-2012

Date Event
20/08/2010 At request of ESTOC, an off-the-record meeting is facilitated by Silvio Zammit, between Commissioner John Dalli and ESTOC Chair Tomas Hammargren at a Maltese hotel to discuss the EU snus ban.
20/10/2011 Zammit emails Hammargren that he is on his way to Stockholm. ESTOC’s Secretary General Inge Delfosse replies instead (Hammargren no longer involved with ESTOC) and agrees to meet Zammit in Stockholm the next day.
21/10/2011 Zammit, Delfosse and Swedish Match’s Rupini Bergström have lunch and reportedly discuss snus in general. Zammit allegedly boasts about his closeness to Dalli.
Approx. 10/11/2011 Swedish Match’s Johan Gabrielsson, employed with Swedish Match since October 2011 and previously employed with the European Commission, phones Maltese lobbyist and friend Gayle Kimberley, and recounts Zammit’s claims and asks Kimberley’s help in accessing Dalli and lifting the EU snus ban.
17/11/2011 Kimberley quotes Swedish Match €5000 for her services, including a meeting and presentation to the Commissioner to make the case for lifting the snus ban.
18/11/2011 Zammit phones Delfosse and claims that Dalli understands the snus issues, is willing to take risks, and could get the ban lifted.
12/12/2011 Swedish Match’s Gabrielsson and Henrik Olsson have an all-day briefing meeting with Kimberley in Malta. Silvio Zammit was discussed as an option to gain access to Dalli.
06/01/2012 Kimberley meets with Commissioner Dalli and Zammit, organised by the latter, and sends a report to Swedish Match.
04/02/2012 A second meeting scheduled between Dalli, Zammit and Kimberley was postponed due to bad weather in Brussels, and rescheduled for 10 February.
07/02/2012 Kimberley is informed by Zammit that he will meet Dalli without her on 10 February, and asks her to give him questions that she wants Dalli to answer.
10/02/2012 Zammit and Dalli have a meeting, although Dalli denies that snus was discussed. Following this meeting, Zammit meets Kimberley at his restaurant and returns her note with questions that include handwritten answers. Zammit informs Kimberley that all contact with Swedish Match should go through Zammit, not the Commission, and that lifting of the snus ban would cost “six zeros”. Kimberley then phoned Gabrielsson to report on her supposed meeting with Dalli and ask who in Swedish Match was able “to make a financial commitment”.
13/02/2012 Gabrielsson and Kimberley meet in Malta, where she briefs him about the meeting she was supposedly part of. Zammit then joins them to confirm that Dalli is willing to change the EU ban on snus. He then says that it would cost €60 million, and that to this end, the Swedish Match CEO and Dalli could meet anywhere in the world. Gabrielsson phoned Patrik Hildingsson, Swedish Match Vice President EU Affairs, to relay the offer. Hildingsson orders him to stop any contact with Zammit.
14/02/2012 Swedish Match’s General Counsel Fedrik Peyron and Hildingsson meet with PR company Kreab Gavin Anderson’s Peje Emilsson to discuss the offer made. They decide to decline the offer and inform the Swedish Government as national interests are at stake.
18/02/2012 Zammit emails ESTOC “I have something interesting to talk to you about”. In a subsequent phone conversation with Delfosse, Zammit implies that he could do things for ESTOC in return for payment.
21/02/2012 Gabrielsson contacts Kimberley and advises her that Swedish Match rejects Zammit’s offer.
24/02/2012 Kreab Gavin Anderson reports bribery offer to State Secretary of the Swedish Prime Minister.
08/03/2012 Zammit emails ESTOC a proposal of his lobbying services, referring to Gayle Kimberley’s husband consultancy You Rock Ltd.
03/2012 Swedish Match contacts Clifford Chance for advice following Zammit’s contact with ESTOC.
15/03/2012 Swedish Match advises ESTOC to be careful with Zammit and shares the events around Zammit’s bribery offer. That same day, Delfosse emails Zammit asking for more information about his consultancy services, to which Zammit responds that the offer he made was done on his own “alone and personally”.
16/03/2012 Delfosse emails Zammit saying that there are “Bad rumours flying around Brussels”, asking him to organise a meeting with Dalli. Zammit calls Delfosse (which she records) and asks for €10 million for a meeting between “his boss and her boss”, stressing again that they could meet anywhere in the world.
29/03/2012 Delfosse phones Zammit, pressing for a meeting with Dalli.
End of 03/2012 Gabrielsson phones Kimberley to confirm that DG SANCO’s negative opinion on snus is related to their refusal to pay. Kimberley said she had had no more contact with Silvio Zammit.
End of 03/2012 Swedish Match seeks advice from Michele Petite at Clifford Chance who, at their request, contacts Secretary General Catherine Day with the bribery allegations.
21/05/2012 Swedish Match informs Day in writing about the allegations concerning Dalli.
24/05/2012 Day advises Giovanni Kessler, OLAF’s Director-General, about complaint against Dalli.
25/05/2012 OLAF opens an investigation into Dalli’s conduct.
30/05/2012 Day contacts Swedish Match to tell them she has referred their complaint to OLAF.
11/07/2012 OLAF sends Dalli a letter of notification that he is under investigation.
25/07/2012 Barroso and Dalli meet to discuss OLAF investigation (note: same day as Day request delay in ISC based on technical issues).
11/10/2012 Dalli is asked to meet President Jose Manuel Barroso on 16 October.
15/10/2012 OLAF closes the investigation into Dalli and sends report to Catherine Day. OLAF also contacts Swedish Match to warn them of upcoming press conference. OLAF also has a phone conversation with the Maltese government.
16/10/2012 Barroso forces Dalli to resign over OLAF report, and advises Maltese Prime Minister of events and asks him to nominate a new candidate Commissioner.

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  1. European Commission: “Dalligate” spreads like wildfire in Brussels, In: Presseurop 25 October 2012, accessed November 2014