Messerschmidt castigated over lack of co-operation in fraud investigation

Back in 2016 the EU Parliament ruled that there had been irregularities regarding the use of EU funds for domestic election campaigns

The European anti-fraud office OLAF has been running an ongoing investigation into the way money has been spent by the Movement for a Europe of Liberties and Democracy (MELD) and its affiliated foundation FELD.

The Danish Euro MP Morten Messerschmidt was in charge of the foundation for a while, and it is alleged that during his tenure he misused funds to conduct Dansk Folkeparti’s municipal election campaign in Denmark.

READ ALSO: Dansk Folkeparti to pay over 200,000 kroner back to EU in wake of funding scandal

OLAF has accused Messerschmidt of delaying-tactics and not responding to its enquiries, reports TV2 Nyheder.

“We asked in writing for an explanation a year ago. We’ve sent several reminders, but we’ve still not heard anything,” said OLAF’s chief investigator, Dominik Schichels.

Anxious to help
Messerschmidt has dismissed the allegations of a lack of co-operation as being “nonsense” and “untrue”.

“We’re very anxious to help them with our answers and to shed light on things, but we’ve been unable to do so,” said Messerschmidt.

“The simple reason is that they don’t tell me what they want. I’ve asked them now for over a year to tell us what they need to close the case. Nobody wants the matter closed more then I do.”

A week ago, DF’s deputy leader, Søren Espersen, also commented on the lack of response from OLAF. He pointed out that Messerschmidt had informed the anti-fraud office that he was ready to be interviewed, but had heard nothing from them.

All a misunderstanding
The party has already paid some money back to the EU. In June 2016 it repaid 1.6 million kroner, and in October in the same year it made another repayment.

“From what has been revealed it could perhaps be said that there has been carelessness and mistakes, but nothing that I would describe as deliberate,” said Messerchmidt.

Last week Messerschmidt was chosen as DF’s candidate for the Fredensborg constituency in northern Zealand.