Press Release


OLAF: Director-General Kessler has to go. Inge Gräßle MEP


GRÄSSLE, IngeborgThe EPP Group Spokeswoman in the Budgetary Control Committee of the European Parliament, Inge Gräßle, has called for the resignation of the Director-General of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), Giovanni Kessler.

Mr Kessler himself conducted the investigations in the case of the former EU Health Commissioner John Dalli, who, in light of the preparation of the proposal for a new Tobacco Products Directive, has been exposed to allegations of corruption. At a press conference today, the Greens had shown that the plaintiff Swedish Match had been prompted by OLAF to make false statements before Parliament. Already two days ago, the OLAF Supervisory Committee had 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", said Gräßle.

She has demanded the disclosure of all breaches that are mentioned in the Supervisory Committee's report. This report has been received by the Presidents of the three European Institutions - the Parliament, Council and Commission - and has been unavailable since. "The Presidents have to stop covering up for the breaches, everything has to be put on the table now", said Gräßle. She said that it is unacceptable that her own Institution covered up the fact that it has been lied to all along.

For further information:
Inge Gräßle MEP, Tel: +32-2-2847868
Thomas Bickl, EPP Group Press and Communications Service, Tel: +32-478-215372

Notes to Editors:
The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 270 Members and 3 Croatian Observer Members.

Budgetary Control