(Brussels – 19/04/2013) In the aftermath of ‘Dalligate’ – named after the sacking of Health Commissioner John Dalli in October last year, after an alleged bribe linked to the tobacco industry - more and more elements show that the OLAF-inquiry that lead to the dismissal of Dalli are at the least dubious.
Bart Staes, Green MEP and vice-chair of the Committee on Budgetary Control said : « We’ve been asking for clarity on this case and how the inquiry was led for months now, but most political leaders in the EP and its president seem to want to keep it opaque. Nevertheless the plenary of the European Parliament approved on wednesday 17th April in a vote on the discharge of the EU’s budget for the financial year 2011, that we need transparancy and clarity. »
Staes added : « Next tuesday the OLAF’s supervisory panel will present in Committee on Budgetary Control it’s report on the functioning of OLAF, which might have serious implications for the Dalli-case. The EP says in the adopted resolution of April 17th that ‘it has been informed by the OLAF Supervisory Committee about breaches of fundamental rights during OLAF investigations, and therefore is very concerned about the information received in this regard and calls for full transparency concerning these incidents, regardless of the identity of the person(s) involved’. Pretty clear language to me, now let’s see how healthy the democratic values of the EP’s leaders are. »
José Bové, Green MEP and vice-chair of the Commitee on Agriculture said : « The statements made by miss Kimberley, main witness à charge in the OLAF Dalligate-inquiry, on April 18th 2013 in the Court in Malta, and reported by Maltese media, raise new questions on the inquiry methods being applied by OLAF and in particular by it’s director M. Giovanni Kessler. If the hearing of M.Denolf, chair of OLAF’s Supervisory Committee, who will be presenting the report on OLAF in the next meeting of COCOBU, would confirm these worrying allegations, the European Parliament should ask itself if the leadership of the EU’s anti-fraud agency needs to be replaced. This European agency has the obligation to be above all suspicion in fulfilling its mission, in order to be able to combat fraud and embezzlements, to guarantee that tax payers money is not defrauded and to fight conflicts of interests and the pressure of lobbies on European policy making. »