The OLAF report on which EU Commission President José Barroso based his decision to dismiss EU Commissioner John Dalli has been partly published yesterday by the newspaper Malta Today. The report shows clearly that the OLAF investigation has not been able to come up with decisive evidence as regards the direct participation of John Dalli in attempted trafficking of influence.
Commenting on the report, Green MEP Bart Staes, vice-chair of the EP's budgetary control committee, said today:
"The OLAF-document that was published yesterday by "Malta Today" shows clearly that this inquiry was not done à charge and à décharge and can not be dubbed impartial. Reading this document, even when incomplete (pages 15 and 16 and annexes 4 -24 are missing), combined with the annual report of the OLAF Supervisory Committee (that was officially published last week) confirms the accuracy of the accusations as formulated by the OLAF Supervisory Committee. These accusations on the way OLAF conducted its inquiry include the use of certain questionable methods, a lack of respect for procedures and the absence of respect for fundamental human rights."
Bart Staes demands as a logical next step that the members of the Committee of Budgetary Control get complete access to the special report on the Dalli-inquiry as written by the OLAF Supervisory Committee ("Opinion 2/2012"). This report analyses the dysfunction of OLAF and its director-general Giovanni Kessler. More over the now leaked OLAF report reveals in Annexe 2 an unacceptable collusion between Swedish Match lobbyist Michel Petite and the secretary-general of the European Commission. (1)
Green MEP José Bové, vice-chair of the EP's agriculture committee, continued:
"The OLAF report incriminating ex-commissioner John Dalli has been finally published by the Maltese press. In this report the accusations against John Dalli, as we had supposed, are not based on concrete facts.
"By sidelining the Surveillance Committee of OLAF, Commission President José Barroso did not respect the rules of the institutions. It is now high time that Barroso explains himself over these dysfunctions and that he takes responsibility for his actions."
(1) One of the most revealing and important aspects of the leaked OLAF report can be found in annex 2 in the statement of Mr. Peyron, Senior Vice President and Legal Council of Swedish Match. He stated that when Swedish Match had collected the ''evidence'' on the proposal for a bribe for John Dalli, they first talked to Michel Petite (former head of the Legal Service of the European Commission and now consultant and lawyer for Tobacco multinational Philip Morris), who then in turn communicated with Catherine Day, Secretary General of the Commission. Only after this communication, Swedish Match (that has a joint venture with Philip Morris) sent their allegations to Catherine Day. This indicates a clear and unacceptable collusion between the Commission administration and Swedish Match.