OLAF EXTERNAL INVESTIGATION ON E.U. SUBSIDIES PAID IN SLOVAKIA

Press Release OLAF/04/2001, 30 April 2001

On the basis of information received by OLAF, Mr. Franz-Hermann BRUENER, Director General of OLAF, decided yesterday, the 29.4.2001, in conformity with Art. 5 § 1 of the Regulation (EC) No. 1073/1999, to open an external investigation in relation to allegations of fraud concerning the awarding of tenders for E.U. projects in Slovakia.

OLAF intends to carry out its investigation in close co-operation with the Slovak authorities, who have already indicated their willingness to do so.

This press release has been prepared following numerous requests on the subject by the Slovak media in recent days. The press release is intended to clarify the matter from the OLAF perspective and to avoid possible misunderstandings.

OLAF wishes to make it clear that information obtained in the course of external investigations, falling within the competence of the national judicial authorities, in whatever form, is protected by the relevant provisions. It follows that any further comment by OLAF about investigations would be a breach of the law by the European Anti-fraud Office.

Mr Alessandro Butticé
Spokesman of the European Anti-fraud Office (OLAF)
Tel : +32 (0)2 296.5425
Fax : +32 (0)2 299.8101

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