John Dalli, who stepped down as the European Union’s health commissioner in October, asked an EU court to overturn his resignation in the wake of a fraud investigation.
Dalli is asking the EU’s General Court to annul an Oct. 16 “termination of office,” according to a court filing published this week. The action wasn’t a valid resignation and didn’t allow him to defend himself against allegations that he was aware of attempts by a Maltese entrepreneur to sell access to him in a possible attempt to influence the bloc’s tobacco policy, according to the filing.
Dalli said last year that his resignation was “explicitly demanded” by European Commission President Jose Barroso and that he was refused access to a report by the EU’s anti-fraud office, OLAF. It was “politically untenable” for Dalli to remain in his post after the report uncovered circumstantial evidence that he knew of the effort to sell access to him, an EU spokesman said in October.
His resignation was the first by an EU commissioner over corruption allegations since the entire commission resigned in 1999 after several members were accused of financial wrongdoing. Dalli was succeeded by Tonio Borg as Malta’s representative at the European Commission.
The case is: T-562/12 Dalli v Commission.