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OLAF carried out illegal wiretapping, MEP calls for Giovanni Kessler’s resignation

German MEP Inge Graessle says supervisory committee’s report on breaches by OLAF mean anti-fraud unit’s chief must go.

matthew_vella
Matthew Vella
21 March 2013, 12:00am
OLAF chief Giovanni Kessler
OLAF chief Giovanni Kessler


Pressure is mounting on the man who led the investigation into former European Commissioner John Dalli, after Green MEP Bart Staes today relayed shocking statements by a member of OLAF's supervisory committee alleging illegal wiretapping of conversations by the subjects of the 'Dalligate' controversy.

In a press conference in the European Parliament today, Staes said that OLAF had suggested to a Swedish Match lobbyist to stick to a misleading version of events - allegedly to bolster the strength of their investigation into John Dalli.

Staes also said today that member of the OLAF supervisory committee had reported illegal conduct by the anti-fraud unit. Former MEP Herbert Bosch, also a former president of the EP's budgetary control committee, told the committee that:
  • OLAF had organised illegal wiretapping without the knowledge of the people being investigated;
  • That interviews of their subjects had been recorded without their knowledge;
  • And that OLAF director-general Giovanni Kessler had participated in the investigations, which was a problem since his role was to determine whether an investigation was being conducted properly or not.


"We cannot now give our assent to a new regulation for OLAF until we know what went wrong in the investigation," Staes said.

Fresh calls for Kessler's resignation came from the European People's Party's coordinator of the budgetary control committee, Inge Graessle.

"The Greens have shown that the plaintiff Swedish Match was prompted by OLAF to make false statements in front of Parliament. Already two days ago, the OLAF Supervisory Committee pointed out to Parliament severe breaches of fundamental rights - the recording of a telephone conversation and its evaluation without a judicial authorisation, as well as the instigation of third persons to produce such records of telephone conversations.

"Now the instigation of a third party, in this case Swedish Match, to make a false  statement in front of Parliament adds to this record," Graessle said.

The MEP demanded that all breaches in the OLAF supervisory committee's report be made public. "The Presidents of the institutions have to stop covering up the breaches: everything should be put on the table. It is unacceptable that the European Parliament itself covers up the fact that it has been lied to all along."
matthew_vella
Matthew Vella is executive editor at MaltaToday.
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A few question to Mr Giovanni Kesller about use of his functions 1. Is Mr Kessler entitled to perform investigative work and is this executive task provided in his employment contract? 2. When Mr Kessler performs executive tasks directly in the filed (like Mr Dali interrogation) what happens with his specific task of controlling if the investigation took place with a due observance of the rules? 3. In the case of Mr Dali Investigation, Mr Kessler controlled and endorsed his own investigative work. From a theoretic point of view, which is the legal framework for such exceeding of functions? Abuse of functions/Misuse of functions/Abuse of Public Office/Lack of segregation of duties? (Article 19 of United Nations Convention Against Corruption). 4. In how many other OLAF investigations, Mr Kessler acted as Investigator, performing executive tasks? Did he involve himself also at European Commision http://www.europeanvoice.com/article/imported/police-raid-commission-offices-as-part-of-fraud-probe/75341.aspx ; European Environment Agency, Fundamental Rights Agency, EFESA 5. Is Mr Kessler`s job description a disclosable document? Could he share it with the public or assure the EU public that he used his functions in accordance to law?
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Iz- zejt tilha f` wicc l-ilma !!!! komploti u gideb .
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Michael Lanfranco
I said it drom day one that Dalli was framed and the Maltese authorities did not lift a finger to help Dalli. It is time for Kesller to resign
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Paul Sammut
do you remember how kessler was arrogant when he first reported the case and how he tried to ridicule mr dalli and malta. NOW IT IS TIME TO RIDICULE HIM AND MAKE HIM RESIGN FROM HIS POST.
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GODFREY FARRUGIA
The mountain of intrigue is getting higher and higher. And perhaps nearer?
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Another damning report on Kessler and his OLAF team. They should not only be made to resign but be prosecuted for the illegalities they performed. It is becoming more clear that John Dalli may have been the subject of a massive Frame Up orchestrated by OLAF and the members on the OLAF board, on orders from the highest levels of the EU Commission. The absolutism in the way Barroso forced Dalli to resign without the basic principles of human rights and dignity is very reminiscent of the way the Spanish Franco Dictatorship was conducted.
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If, as it was reported, was the intention to summon Mr John Dalli before the Courts of Justice, what now, that the shocking truth is being revealed and seeing the light of day, is going to be the reaction of the Attorney General and the Commissioner of Police? Was this a reason why the OLAF report was kept under wraps?
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Yanika Chetcuti
Is this why we were corralled, controlled and pushed by the powers that be to join the EU? If we were after being imbued in absolute dirt, corruption and sleaze, we could easily have availed ourselves of the far more potent local environment.