The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has effectively indemnified the European
Union (EU) anti-fraud office OLAF
from legal responsibility for the response of national police forces to which it
has passed information.
In a case involving a German journalist
Tillack, the ECJ refused to condemn OLAF’s transfer of allegations regarding
payments to his contacts and breaches of professional confidentiality during his
investigations of financial scandals at the European Commission.
Tillack was later raided by Belgian police with documents being seized,
leading to him suing OLAF for damaging his reputation.
However, the court ruled that ‘the forwarding of information by OLAF… has no
binding legal effect’ on the police, who ‘remain free to decide what action’ to
As a result, the anti-fraud agency was not legally responsible for the raid.
OLAF director general Franz-Hermann Brüner said: ‘In an area of law where, until
now, case law has been very limited, the court gives important guidance for…
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