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Scandal in EU: EPPO gets inside EIB and seizes documents for big corruption investigation



An investigation by the European Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) involves the EIB, its officials and even its headquarters, with an interesting and stunning development, not least because , according to, it involves the institution’s top management

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has accepted a request from the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) to lift the immunity of two of its former employees, as well as the inviolability of its premises, buildings and archives in Luxembourg. This overcomes all the imminences enjoyed by the EIB and its officials, whose premises, like those of the ECB and ESM, enjoy a kind of inviolability from the police.

The request was made as part of an ongoing investigation involving two individuals suspected of corruption and abuse of influence, as well as misappropriation of EU funds. The suspects were reported to EPPO by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF). In compliance with the legal mandate under EU law (Protocol 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the EU), as stipulated by the Court of Justice of the European Union, the EIB granted the waiver of immunity to two former employees. This will allow the EPPO investigation to be pursued with assiduity and efficacy.

Who are these suspects? EPPO does not say, but Politico says it is Werner Hoyer, who retired as EIB president late last year and is now facing a corruption case, as confirmed by his lawyer.

German and Luxembourg police officers have seized material related to the investigation in recent months, according to two officials who were granted anonymity to describe confidential matters to POLITICO. The officers also searched Hoyer’s home.

Hoyer denied any charges through his lawyer, who said the EPPO investigation focuses on the departure of an EIB employee and the compensation he was paid in this context. Hoyer signed the exit package in accordance with EIB rules, trapping him in the investigation even though he was not part of the negotiations, the German’s legal team said.

Now Eppo will continue by gathering information in strict compliance with the principles of the rule of law and rights guaranteed, in particular, by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. All parties concerned are presumed innocent until proven guilty in competent courts, as should be the case throughout Europe. Unfortunately, instead, in Italy and many other countries, the press publishes names before even the suspects themselves are informed.

No further details about this ongoing investigation will be made public so as not to compromise its outcome. Whenever there is something to report, EPPO will do so proactively. So we will have to wait for reporters to let some news slip out.

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