OLAF/04/17 Brussels, 23 September 2004

In a press release today the European Ombudsman announced that he had begun an inquiry against the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF). In his public statement the Ombudsman states that the inquiry is based on a complaint by the former Brussels correspondent of a German weekly. The complaint is dated 3 August 2004. The Ombudsman forwarded this complaint to OLAF in a letter dated 6 September 2004 and requested a reaction by 30 November 2004.

OLAF takes note of today's public statement which is issued at a time when rulings on the underlying legal dispute by the European Court of First Instance and the Belgian judiciary are expected. The issue relates to suspicions of corruption and breach of professional secrecy involving an EU official.

The Office itself will abstain from public comments on this matter as, both in this case and in other instances, its attitude is one of deference to the national and European judiciaries.

OLAF, as requested by the Ombudsman, will submit its detailed reaction to the complaint by 30 November 2004.

See also the backgroundAll available translations. of this case and OLAF Press Releases Nr. 14/2004All available translations., Nr. 7/2004All available translations., Nr. 21/2003All available translations., Nr. 3/2002All available translations..

Alessandro Butticé
Head of Communication, PR and Spokesman Unit
Tel : +32 (0)2 296.54.25
Fax : +32 (0)2 299.81.01

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