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It appears the corruption scandal that cost Maltese politician John Dalli his job as European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy is beginning to backfire on the European Anti-fraud Office (OLAF), which investigated the case.

The Times of Malta reports that the investigation has been called into question by OLAF’s supervisory committee. In a report currently “stored in a vault of the European Parliament,” which was briefly seen by the daily, the members of the committee take the view that OLAF operatives “acted illegally when they interrogated [Dalli’s associate and businessman] Silvio Zammit.” They also argue that OLAF went “beyond its remit”, for example, when it “asked Maltese authorities for the suspects’ telephone records.”

This last observation is important, because, as the daily remarks on the front page of its April 29 edition, the existence of “phone calls coinciding with key events under investigation” is a key aspect of OLAF’s case. The “unambiguous circumstantial evidence” for allegations that Dalli was involved in influence trafficking hinges on a series of calls between Dalli, Zammit and his associate Gayle Kimberley “before, after or on the same day as the events took place,” as well as “inconsistencies between what Mr Dalli told investigators and the facts they uncovered.”

Dalli was forced to resign last October, when OLAF discovered Zammit had offered to intervene with the commissioner on behalf of a Swedish tobacco manufacturer in exchange for a vast sum of money.

However, according to the Times of Malta, the OLAF investigative report, part of which was published by MaltaToday on April 28,

does not include conclusive evidence proving that the former European Commissioner knew about the bribe requests allegedly made to tobacco lobbyists.