Dalligate | EP presidents meet Barroso, but get no access to OLAF dossier

European Commission president Josè Barroso says MEPs will not get restricted access to OLAF report on John Dalli.

EC President Josè Barroso told parliament presidents
EC President Josè Barroso told parliament presidents

Presidents of the European Parliament's political groupings and other MEPs held a 90-minute meeting with the president of the European Commission on Thursday evening, to discuss the circumstances that led to John Dalli's resignation.

The former health and consumer policy commissioner resigned 16 October after an investigation by the EU's anti-fraud office OLAF said it had found "unambiguous circumstantial evidence" that Dalli was aware of a €60 million bribe to influence tobacco legislation, but that he failed to report it.

MaltaToday understand that EP presidents wanted to have a modicum of access to the OLAF report, but were not granted access to any of the information which so far has been seen by the Maltese attorney general, the Commissioner of Police, as well as the OLAF supervisory committee.

Michael Theurer, the chairman of the EP's budget control committee, said it was "unacceptable" that the request of the European Parliament to have access, under appropriate conditions, to the OLAF file that led to the resignation of Dalli was refused.

"It is Parliament's duty to control the actions of the Commission. In such circumstances it is not possible to conduct a democratic check of decisions," Theurer said in a statement.

"The rules may need to be reviewed so that any case of this kind should be communicated immediately to the presidents of the Commission and Parliament at the same time as the judicial authorities.

"Safeguarding the highest level of transparency and trust in our democratic procedures and structures is of the highest importance if we are to ensure confidence in the European institutions," Theurer said.

Dalli was called in for questioning by police on Monday evening over the contents of the OLAF report. Also questioned was former canvasser Silvio Zammit, alleged to have asked for a bribe from a lobbyist for Swedish Match, and Maltese lawyer Gayle Kimberly, the lobbyist.

Barroso has so far told EP president Martin Schulz that he is legally bound to withhold the OLAF report on John Dalli.

The OLAF report can be handed to MEPs as long as it complies with regulation 45/2001 on protection of personal data and so long as it is "necessary or legally required on important public interest grounds", a spokesperson for the anti-fraud unit had told MaltaToday.

But the report is classified as "OLAF special handling" - a unique designation which falls outside EU Council rules on confidential papers, such as making sure that MEPs are security-vetted by their home countries' intelligence services before gaining access.

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L-importanti li nkunu madwar il-mejda biex inkunu nistghu nifluenzaw id-decizzjonijiet!
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u allura l-bravu eddie li dahhalna fl-ewropa biex nassistu qisna haruf ghal dan il-lincagg politiku ta' dalli - u ta' malta wkoll wara kollox - sa issa ghadu ma azzardax jiftah halqu? jew issa qed jinduna f'liema sqaq dahhalna u bil-bravura li ghamel? is-soltu tant jiehu gost iparla fil-vojt fuq it-times u issa immuta u zzippja halqu? ..... wara kollox dalli hu tal-klikka tieghu u jmissu jiftah halqu jghid xi haga mhux immuta ghal kollox .....
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Luke Camilleri
DO I SMELL A SET UP?????????????????????
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The basic tenets of Justice is that Justice must be seen to be done. The fact that Barroso has denied access to the Presidents of the European Parliament's political groupings shows that even these high officials of our EU Parliament are being considered to have negative security clearance from their own governments - which is absurd. No one is above the Law and that includes Barroso who is acting in an absolutely dictatorial way and should therefore be impeached by the EU Parliament. Once again the basic tenet of justice is that everyone is presumed innocent until proved guilty and the accuser cannot also be judge and jury. That is exactly what Barroso has done. Again on this basis he should be impeached. Most Maltese people of good will definitely have no trust in this person and those he is trying to protect. For it is clear that this is political manoeuvring in its worse form.
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It seems they have something to hide.
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Can somebody please remind me which Union it was that we joined back in 2004? Was it the European Union, the Soviet Union or the Union of MAFIA bosses??
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"Barroso has so far told EP president Martin Schulz that he is legally bound to withhold the OLAF report on John Dalli." So according to Baroso, Dalli can never know what is in the report to defend his name. Aktar ma mur aktar nahseb li kienet xi hadma kontra Dalli.
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How can Barroso impose regulation 45/2001 on the protection of personal data if Dalli himself has called for the publication of the report? Or is Barroso safeguarding the interests of Silvio Zammit, the person on whom this incedent revolves and who may end up being charged in court?
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What are Barroso (& OLAF) and GonziPN (& IAID) hiding? Are they afraid that one might question the seriousness and objecivity of certain "circumstantial evidence"? One would easily conclude that they are guilty of something heinous by default.
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Mela x'fih dan l-imbierek rapport??????