Christianos and Partners Law Firm represented one of the leading Greek consultancy companies in South East Europe which serves the public and private sector by delivering high value adding services, in a case before the European Ombudsman regarding irregularities committed on an on-the-spot check at the company’s premises by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).
The complainant invoked a series of infringements of fundamental rights recognized to all persons who are under investigation and which are awarded according to the general principles of national and especially EU law. These include, amongst others, the principles of sound administration, legality, proportionality, impartiality and independence of the investigators.
The European Ombudsman published a Decision in favour of the complainant, which includes the following conclusions regarding the unlawful and unprofessional behaviour of the investigators:
Firstly, within the framework of an on-the-spot check, OLAF must ensure that it sufficiently clarifies the applicable rights and procedural guarantees of those involved. In the case at hand, OLAF failed sufficiently to do so.
Secondly, the behaviour of the agents of the EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies should meet the highest standards, and, where a citizen alleges that the behaviour of such an agent failed to meet these standards, the institution concerned should be able to provide a satisfactory explanation disproving such allegations.