Friday

19th Aug 2022

OLAF supervisory committee to discuss Tillack case

The EU’s anti-fraud office’s supervisory committee has begun looking into whether the body overstepped the mark in an investigative case concerning German journalist Hans-Martin Tillack.

German member of the committee Harald Noack told the EUobserver that the matter is "serious" and "very delicate".

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • Hans-Martin Tillack - had his home and office in Brussels searched by Belgian police (Photo: EUobserver)

The committee, whose function is to reinforce the independence of OLAF by looking at how it carries out its investigations, will enter the first of a two-day meeting on the issue today (20 April).

According to Mr Noack, the committee was not informed that OLAF had handed over a file on Mr Tillack to the Belgian police which eventually led to Mr Tillack being taken into custody and questioned for a day last month.

"Maybe we got information in a heavily coded version," he said.

Questioned about whether there was strong evidence against the Stern magazine journalist, Mr Noack indicated that if there had been, he would not have reacted so strongly in an interview with Der Spiegel last month.

He told Der Spiegel that the dismissal of OLAF director Franz-Hermann Brüner was "not out of the question".

According to the spokesperson of OLAF, during a meeting on 20-21 January 2004, Mr Perduca, Director of Investigations & Operations of OLAF, personally updated the Supervisory Committee on an ongoing case which involved working with the judicial authorities on a confidential basis.

While these internal machinations go on, Mr Tillack is working to get his confiscated material back from the Belgian police.

Police raided his offices on the suspicion of the journalist being involved in bribing an EU official. These allegations concern the sum of 8000 – though it is not yet clear whether it is German marks or euro.

Mr Tillack is due to see the Belgian police again on Wednesday (22 April).

The International Federation of Journalists in Brussels has invited journalists based in the Belgian capital to demonstrate near the police station against the treatment of Mr Tillack and the lack of protection of journalist sources in Belgium.

Slovakia's government stares into the abyss

When a pro-western coalition swept to power in Slovak elections in 2020, many saw it as the start of a new era. Yet fast forward two-and-a-half years, and the four-party coalition is teetering on the brink of collapse.

Draghi's grip on power finally unravels

Italy looked set to lose its highly-respected prime minister Mario Draghi on Thursday, after his attempt to relaunch his grand coalition government ended with right-wing parties joining the populist Five Star Movement (M5S) in deserting him.

Italy back in chaos, as Draghi quits over 5-Star snub

Italy was plunged into fresh political turmoil on Thursday as prime minister Mario Draghi announced his resignation after a key ally within his grand coalition government boycotted a parliamentary vote.

Column

Albania's post-communist dream has lessons for Ukraine

Comparisons between post-communist Albania and current-day Ukraine are fascinating — and make many pertinent parallels. Ukrainians have a similar determination to belong to "the rest of Europe" as Albanians.

Opinion

Finally, the victims of Utøya got a memorial

A legal battle between locals on the one hand and the state and the labour youth organisation on the other side postponed the inception of the memorial in remembrance of the victims of Anders Behring Breivik.

News in Brief

  1. China joins Russian military exercises in Vostok
  2. Ukraine nuclear plant damage would be 'suicide', says UN chief
  3. Denmark to invest €5.5bn in new warships
  4. German economy stagnates, finance ministry says
  5. Syria received stolen grain, says Ukraine envoy
  6. Truss still leads in next UK PM polling
  7. UN chief meets Zelensky and Erdogan over grain exports
  8. Fighting stalls ahead of UN visit, Ukraine says

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic prime ministers: “We will deepen co-operation on defence”
  2. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  4. European Centre for Press and Media FreedomEuropean Anti-SLAPP Conference 2022
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis

Latest News

  1. European inflation hits 25-year high, driven by energy spike
  2. No breakthrough in EU-hosted Kosovo/Serbia talks
  3. Letter to the Editor: Rosatom responds on Zaporizhzhia
  4. Could the central Asian 'stan' states turn away from Moscow?
  5. Serbia expects difficult talks with Kosovo at EU meeting
  6. How scary is threat to Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant?
  7. Slovakia's government stares into the abyss
  8. Finland restricts Russian tourist visas

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us