Tuesday 16 October 2012

OLAF investigation brings down Health Commissioner Dalli

An OLAF investigation into attempts by the tobacco industry to influence EU legislation has led to the resignation of Maltese Commissioner John Dalli, who had health as his portfolio.

The investigation was into whether a Maltese entrepreneur had used contacts with Dalli to influence future proposals on tobacco legislation. The complaint to OLAF was launched by the company Swedish Match (a tobacco producer) in May 2012, and the report was delivered to the Commission yesterday. The report found:

"...that the Maltese entrepreneur had approached the company using his contacts with Mr Dalli and sought to gain financial advantages in exchange for influence over a possible future legislative proposal on snus. No transaction was concluded between the company and the entrepreneur and no payment was made. The OLAF report did not find any conclusive evidence of the direct participation of Mr Dalli but did consider that he was aware of these events."

So while Dalli did not accept any bribes, OLAF considers that he was aware of these dodgy dealings. It is now for the Attorney General of Malta and the Maltese judiciary to decide on further action.

Dalli rejects the allegations.

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