CLARIFICATION REGARDING OLAF INTERNAL INVESTIGATION AND BELGIAN JUDICIARY INVESTIGATION ON A LEAK OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION
Press Release OLAF/07/2004, 23 March 2004
On 27 March 2002, the European Anti-fraud Office
(OLAF) issued a press release announcing
that it had opened an internal investigation
under Regulation 1073/1999 into a leak
of confidential information included in
a report prepared within OLAF, including
the possibility, as reported to OLAF,
that payment had been made to an EU official
for this information.
Certain articles that have appeared in
the press in recent days regarding the
search ordered by the investigating judge
in the office of a Brussels based journalist
call for some clarification.
All investigative steps fall exclusively
into the competence of the "juge d'instruction".
OLAF has fulfilled its statutory obligation
in passing on its information on facts
liable to result in criminal prosecutions.
OLAF internal investigation concerns only
aspects of a possible professional misconduct
of staff members of a European Institution,
agency, organ or body.
The Brussels Prosecution Service [Mr
Jos Colpin, First Substitute for the Royal
Prosecutor - Spokesman for the Brussels
Prosecution Service, tel. +32(0)25087440,
fax: +32(0)25190822] made an announcement
on 22 March. For ease of reference, an
informal translation of the statement issued by the Brussels Public Prosecutor
is as follows.
" On 12 February 2004 the Brussels
Public Prosecutor received a file from
OLAF reporting facts relating to "corruption".
The file was sent by the Office of
the Public Prosecutor to the "juge d'instruction"
Daniel Fransen for investigation ("instruction")
in relation to persons not yet identified
. Mr Fransen issued search warrants to
be carried out on 19 March 2004 at the
office and at the private residence of
Judge investigators carry out their
duties in such a way as to assemble evidence
for and against the person concerned ("à
charge" et "à décharge").
Due account has of course been taken of
the specific circumstance of the profession
of the individual concerned. The journalist
has been interviewed by police officers
but has not been summoned by the judge investigator.
He was free to leave at the end of the hearing.
At the present stage of the investigation,
no charge has been made. The investigation
Spokesman of the European Anti-fraud Office
Tel : +32 (0)2 296.5425
Fax : +32 (0)2 299.8101