Fainting in Coyles An occasional letter from the
Heart of Euroville
Wednesday, March 24, 2004
Hans-Martin Tillack update
Talking to people who were at yesterday's Mid Day Commission press briefing I was told that the Commsission was feeling rather put upon. It seems to me that Hans-Martin may well have been arrested illegally. Yesterday OLAF, who ordered the police action virtually admitted that they had no evidence for the action. Thus according to their own rules they are open to action. However the purposde of the exercise has already been acomplished.
Serious stuff, the nub is that Tillack, the journo was a meticulous German, and had all his files on over 50 investigative stories confiscated. All his contact details were in those files. There are at least 12 Commission sources that will be uncovered by this (possibly) illegal action. Those sources will be punished, and thus the job of a journalist in Brussels goes from hard to nigh on impossible. If the Commission can confiscate journalist's files without evidence of illegality who is ever going to talk to a journo?
This has to understood in the light of some leaked documents from last year, where the internal disciplinary procedures of the Commission were laid bare. In the document it was apparent that You get punished (hand slap - promoted sideways) for financial impropriety or sexual harrasment. But to get fired you have to do something serious, pedophilia is one thing but the other is to leak documents to MEPs or the press.