The EU anti-fraud agency, OLAF, has hit back at allegations that it encouraged a company at the center of an investigation into events surrounding the resignation of a health commissioner to “lie”, according to a story in The Parliament Magazine.
John Dalli, the then commissioner for health and consumer affairs resigned in October, shortly before the EU Commission unveiled its proposed revisions to the Tobacco Products Directive.
OLAF has warned of the risk of political interference in the ongoing inquiry into the former commissioner.
The rebuttal and warning came after the French Greens MEP, José Bové, said a representative of Swedish Match had told him they were asked by Olaf to “lie” when addressing a parliamentary committee.
The MEP alleges that OLAF instructed Swedish Match to “stick to their original version of events” when a company representative addressed the committee on budgetary control “even though they knew this version of events was no longer true”.
However, OLAF has issued a statement strenuously rebutting the allegations.
It said it “rejects the suggestion that it has failed to respect fundamental rights or has otherwise breached procedural rules” during the investigation and in the transmission of its final report to the Maltese authorities on the Dalli case.
“Specifically, Olaf denies that it has attempted to influence the evidence given by any witness.”
Olaf said too that all evidence was collected lawfully and that it denied allegations by Bové that it conducted wiretapping or illegally recorded telephone conversations.
Category: Breaking News