MEPs submit 154 questions to Commission seeking answers on Dalligate

MEPs from EPP, socialists, greens, liberals and communist groups submit 154 questions in bid to shed light on OLAF investigation.

MEPs have pooled 154 questions to the European Commission over the John Dalli investigation.
MEPs have pooled 154 questions to the European Commission over the John Dalli investigation.

[READ] Questions uploaded by New Europe in two jpgs [1] and [2] (zoom in).

MEPs in Brussels from a variety of political groups have pooled a total 154 written parliamentary questions to the European Commission, demanding answers from president Josè Manuel Barroso as to the circumstances that led to the resignation of former health commissioner John Dalli.

• JOHN DALLI The full coverage

The questions, seen by MaltaToday, seek to reopen new lines of inquiry into the way an investigation into an alleged €60 million bribe request, was carried out by OLAF, the EU's anti-fraud office.

The investigation, launched after a complaint by Swedish snus producers Swedish Match in May 2012, concerned an alleged bribe to seek a reversal on an EU retail ban of snus tobacco. Dalli resigned on 16 October after being read out the covering letter of the OLAF investigation by Barroso, but the investigation is now in the hands of the Maltese police, who have already questioned Dalli on the allegations.

The great majority of questions from the European Peoples' Party group, but also from socialists, liberals, and greens.

The questions also painstakingly seek answers into every aspect of the OLAF investigation: how was the investigation started and who specifically ordered the investigation; what assessment was made prior to the investigation; communication between the government of Malta and OLAF on 15 October at 10am - the eve of Dalli's resignation; and also questions into how OLAF director Giovanni Kessler came to the conclusions that there was a conspiracy at hand, and about the involvement of a member of the OLAF supervisory committee - Rita Schembri - as head of Afcos, the liaising unit in Malta.

The MEPs also asked:

  • whether the Tobacco Products Directive that the bribe was intended to influence had been changed since the first contact with Swedish Match;
  • whether OLAF cooperated with Swedish Match and its European lobby ESTOC in gathering more evidence on or after 4 July 2012;
  • whether people involved in the case were former employees of the European institutions;
  • whether Swedish Match's taped conversation of the possible bribe was legally admissible under Maltese, Swedish or Belgian law;
  • to disclose the total amount of damages paid out by the Commission to persons who were accused of wrongdoing by OLAF and who contested in Court the way OLAF handled their case?

The questions also address Barroso personally, specifically as to whether he took interest in seeing whether OLAF had made any procedural errors during the inquiry; whether his cabinet ever discussed the Dalli case with members of the Maltese government or high-ranking civil servants; and also what were the problems that EC secretary-general Catherine Day had with the Tobacco directive that was being pushed by Dalli.

 

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Joseph MELI
How many questions did our Police Commissioner ask Dalli and Zammit when they were "investigated" and how many were answered ?When will we -the great unwashed mushrooms kept in the dark and fed on excreta- find out?
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I am sure that Mr Baroso will like our Dr Gonzi find and eloquent speech and avoid answering any of the questions put to him and the commission about the Dalligate. Was there anyone from OLAF influenced by the tobacco industry to arrive as such an ambiguous conclusion and issue the report on the eve of Mr Dalli presentation of the directive against the tobacco industry?