Former European Commissioner John Dalli this evening categorically denied allegations against him made in a report by the EU's fraud office and said he was talking with his lawyers in order to clear his name.
In a press statement following his resignation from the European Commission, Mr Dalli said:
"This afternoon I was informed verbally by the President of the Commission of the conclusion of an OLAF investigation about an alleged attempt to influence my decisions in respect of the ongoing review of the Tobacco Directive.
"Even though the OLAF report states that there is no evidence of my direct participation in these events and that the decision making process of the Commission Services had not been influenced in any way, OLAF concluded that I was aware of these events basing themselves ONLY on circumstantial evidence.
I am taking all actions open to me to ensure that these unfounded conclusions will be proved completely false
"I deny categorically that I was in any way aware of any of these events.
"I am taking all actions open to me to ensure that these unfounded conclusions will be proved completely false.
"I will continue to work so that all efforts made by myself and my services to revise the Tobacco Directive will proceed as planned"
Speaking on TVM, Mr Dalli said he wanted to strongly deny any knowledge that a person in Malta had told a Swedish company that he had contacts which could influence EU legislation on tobacco.
On the contrary, Mr Dalli said, he would continue to work in order to ensure that his work on a new Tobacco Directive imposing tougher restrictions on smoking would come to fruition.
However he felt he should resign because he took such matters very seriously. He also indicated that he knew who the Maltese person involved in this case was.
He said that this was not the first time that false allegations had been made against him, only to be disproved.
"This is a case of deja' vu for me. I learnt from that experience and I will be tougher this time around," he said, adding that there would be developments next week.
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