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European Court of auditors is demanding money back from Pinxten

European Court of auditors is demanding money back from Pinxten

Karel Pinxten would be as a member of the European Court of auditors cheated with travel expenses. The Court of auditors should now about 150,000 euro to recover.

Klaus-Heiner Lehne, the German president of the European Court of auditors, declared yesterday morning during a hearing in a committee of the European Parliament that the institution takes action against Karel Pinxten, from 2006 to 2018 the Belgian was a member. The Court of auditors, the reliability of the budgets of European institutions to examine, get to the European Court of Justice.

The following is a study of the European antifraudeagentschap (Olaf) after receiving a complaint from a whistleblower in 2017. Olaf came to the conclusion that there was missions, the collection of zendingsvergoedingen and the use of drivers by Pinxten, which is formally not in the interest of the Court of auditors, in Luxembourg. It included travel to Switzerland and Brussels. There is also spoken about the purchase of expensive bottles of wine.

Last summer, wrote the site BuzzFeed that Pinxten that way for 500,000 euros in funds ‘misused’ would have. When declared Pinxten to the press agency Belga: “When the dust is down, we will see how big the mouse is that the mountain shall bear, possibly after a judicial review.’ The amount that the Court, now the Court wants to recover it, would, however, much lower, and still about 150,000 euros.

Stricter rules

Lehne said yesterday compared to the Mep’s that in the meantime measures have been taken to a repetition of this kind of facts to avoid – before, there were no clear rules about what is and what is not. As a member of the Court is now explicitly the admission of the secretary-general is required for a mission can be undertaken. A summary of the missions is also publicly available on the website.

The complaint to Olaf in 2017 came at the time that Pinxten a third term, as a Belgian member of the Court of auditors ambieerde. That played a role in the negative vote in the European Parliament, anyway in favour of a maximum of two terms. Thereupon, carried the government, Annemie Turtelboom (Open VLD) as his successor.

The striking is that a whistleblower even though in september 2016, a dossier against Pinxten had submitted because of alleged tampering with travel expenses and entertainment expenses. Allegedly, because of an internal investigation, be three weeks later that the allegations were unfounded. Also, that complaint fell on a bad time for Pinxten: two days before the election of the new president of the Court of auditors. Pinxten gold as favourite, but lost by those rumors, the election is just … Klaus-Heiner Lehne.

Pinxten chose yesterday not to comment on the news. In 1999 he had to resign as minister of Agriculture on behalf of the then CVP after the outbreak of the dioxin crisis. A few months later he was vrijgepleit by the dioxinecommissie of the Belgian parliament. In 2002 he switched to Open VLD.

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