INVESTIGATION INTO TRAINING COURSES IN SPAIN

Press Release OLAF/13/2002, 13 November 2002

Following the publication of a number of articles in the Spanish press reporting on an investigation of the European Anti-fraud Office (OLAF) concerning allegations of irregularities in Spain in the area of professional training financed by the Community budget (structural funds), and in response to several requests for information received from the media, OLAF confirms that it has opened an external investigation on 22/10/2002.

OLAF wishes to make it clear that this is an "operational assistance" case, the case having already been undertaken by the Spanish judicial authorities with which OLAF works in close co-operation.

The Office which is, together with the Guardia Civil, organising a seminar for journalists in Salamanca from 21-24 November, on the prevention of fraud through an improved information policy (see Press Release at http://europa.eu.int/comm/anti_fraud/press_room/press_releases/2002/2002_10_en.html) nonetheless would like to underline that information obtained in the course of its investigations which is relevant to national judicial competence is protected by provisions concerning investigative secrecy.

Accordingly any further comment by the Office on investigations covered by the rules of investigative secrecy of Member States' judicial authorities would be a violation of the law on the part of the European Anti-fraud

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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