Potential Dalligate accomplice still member of EC staff

Gayle Kimberley did not have her job terminated at European Council despite being identified as an ‘accomplice’ in alleged bribery request.

Gayle Kimberley (centre) is still employed by the European Council. Also pictured are John Dalli and Silvio Zammit
Gayle Kimberley (centre) is still employed by the European Council. Also pictured are John Dalli and Silvio Zammit

A Freedom of Information request by transparency campaigners in Brussels, has confirmed that Gayle Kimberley - identified by anti-fraud agency OLAF as an accomplice in the Dalligate bribery scandal - is still a member of the European Council's staff.

The confirmation comes two months since transparency campaigners Corporate Europe Observatory filed FOI requests to the European Council, where Kimberley, 37, was employed as a lawyer.

Although Kimberley is still employed at the European Council, it appears that she retained her employment despite being identified as a possible accomplice in the alleged Dalligate bribery.

OLAF, the EU's anti-fraud agency, found that Kimberley and Silvio Zammit - currently facing criminal charges - had allegedly been accomplices in a €60 million bribery request from Swedish Match and smokeless tobacco lobby ESTOC. Kimberley was at the time a lobbyist appointed by Swedish Match to provide them with access to former EU commissioner for health and consumer policy John Dalli, in the hope of repealing an EU ban on the retail of snus tobacco.

Dalli was believed by OLAF to have been aware of the bribery attempt, solely by the circumstantial evidence of telephone call logs where it was shown that Dalli was speaking to Zammit before and after crucial telephone calls between Zammit, Kimberley, and ESTOC officials.

The OLAF report led to Dalli's forced resignation at the behest of EC president José Manuel Barroso. No criminal charges were issued against Dalli or Kimberley, but Zammit - currently facing charges in court - denies the accusations.

Kimberley was recently interrogated by police yet again, in what appears to be a renewed police investigation into Dalligate since the appointment of a new commissioner of police.

Earlier in June, the European Council turned down a request to publish information pertaining to Kimberley's job titles at the Council's legal service, including correspondence relating to the authorisation of the roles she served.

The information was not made available after Kimberley - a member of the Council's legal services - "explicitly objected to the transfer of any of her personal data to recipients other than community institutions and bodies".

The original request was filed by Rachel Tansey, a campaigner at Corporate Europe Observatory, which works to challenge privileged access and influence enjoyed by corporations and their lobby groups in EU policy-making.

Tansey's request called on the European Council to publish copies of applications that Kimberley made under Article 16 of the Staff Regulations to undertake a new professional activity and all correspondence, including emails, relating to the authorisation of the roles.

Kimberley spent six years (between 2004 and 2011) working at the European Council's legal services in Brussels, where at one point she handled European enlargement policy.

In its reply, the General Secretariat refused public access to the requested documents due to privacy laws. "The Council has consulted Ms Kimberley, who explicitly objected to the transfer of any of her personal data to recipients other than community institutions and bodies," the Council said in its reply. "After careful consideration, the council does not consider that such interests prevail over the interest in the protection of Ms Kimberley's privacy and integrity."

It was during this time that Kimberley met Johan Gabrielsson, an official with the European Commission, who would later leave to work for Swedish Match, and propose Kimberley to act as a lobbyist to broker a meeting with Dalli.

During these six years, Kimberley held four different roles within the Council's legal service, starting off within the lawyer's division, she moved on to handling enlargement policy and then social affairs, energy, research and telecommunications. She served her last role - between February 2009 and 31 December 2010 - covering institutional questions and budget and staff regulations.  

Agreed completely with maltesejustice.
The fact that this lady is still on the EC books shows very clearly that the whole issue of Dalligate was political, orchestrated by the highest echelons of the European Commission in conjunction with the highest GONZIPN officers to get John Dalli out of harm's way before the last General Election in Malta. Consequently all accusations against John Dalli aught to be considered with absolute suspicion of a frame up typical of what used to happen in Malta in the last 25 years.
Tistaghgeb li anke fl-EU, xejn ma jigri b'kumbinazzjoni! Min f'Malta iddecieda li din ma titressaqx il-Qorti? Either way ma kientx decizzjoni 'politika' li ma titressaqx? Baqa xi hadd jemmen li l- kaz ta Dalli u kif gie ''handled' ma kienx kaz ta 'blatant' political interference minn naha at GonziPN?