EUObserver is reporting that a confidential and highly damaging report on OLAF’s (EU’s anti-fraud unit) conduct of the investigation into allegations of corruption against Health Commissioner Dalli – by OLAF’s own supervisors – has been sent to the European Parliament.
The “Dalligate” scandal has been rumbling on for a few months now in Brussels. Allegations of dodgy dealings on the part of Commissioner Dalli over his upcoming tobacco legislation and the snus (oral tobacco that is legal in Sweden but banned in the rest of the EU) industry led to his resignation in October last year.
Dalli denies the allegations that he asked for bribes in return for legislative changes and hit out against Commission President Barroso, who effectively fired him. Dalli is currently facing legal action in Malta.
In 2013 the scandal took an unexpected turn, however, when it was alleged that OLAF, the anti-fraud agency that launched the investigation against Dalli and published the report that led to his resignation, broke the law by acquiring communication information illegally (such as telephone information).
It also came to light that the source of information for the meeting where Dalli supposedly asked for the bribe contacted OLAF to tell them that the meeting had never taken place, but OLAF allegedly told her to not tell the public. However Green MEP José Bové was told that Gayle Kimberley, the source,had not been at the meeting, driving OLAF back into the spotlight.
Despite the uproar over the handling of the case by OLAF and its head, Giovanni Kessler, with a proposal by the European Greens that the Parliament launch its own investigation (by setting up a committee of inquiry) into how the case was conducted. However the European Parliament dropped the plan, with the EPP, S&D and ADLE groups against an inquiry – a blow for MEPs who had been calling for Kessler to resign.