Originally from http://www.euobserver.com/?sid=24&aid=16549
09.06.2004 - 17:46 CET | By Mark Beunderman OLAF, the EU's anti fraud office, has signalled that new evidence could arise over the alleged misuse by the Palestinian Authority of EU funds to fund terrorist activities.
In a television programme by the Bayerische Rundfunk on Monday (7 June), the General Director of OLAF Franz-Hermann Brner said that his employees had to cope with a constant flow of new documents raising new questions.
"We would be happy if we could end (our investigations) by this summer. But I am not optimistic, because again and again we are in the situation where we receive new documents, and on the basis of these documents new questions and obligations arise, which is why we cannot estimate when this process will be finalised".
Last April, on the basis of a majority report by the European Parliament, the European Commission was quick to claim that evidence that funds were misused had not been found, in spite of "intensive investigations".
However, the row over the possible financing of terror attacks with EU money by the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat seems far from over.
The Bayerische Rundfunk reported that 246 million euro of EU money, granted to the Palestinian Authority by the European Commission, ended up on fully uncontrollable bank accounts.
Contrary to specific project-based EU aid, these direct money transfers to the Palestinian Authority could be spent freely, the television report said.
The Bayerische Rundfunk said, on the basis of a letter by Mr Arafat that it had obtained, that the Palestinian leader personally ordered terrorist attacks, using the accounts where the EU money ended up.
The accusations to the Palestinian Authority, which have been ongoing for the last three years, split an investigating group of members of the European Parliament on 2 April.
By a margin of just one vote, a majority of MEPs backed a report that said there was no conclusive evidence that EU money had gone to terrorists.
But an alternative 'minority report', backed by six of the 13 members of the group, said that the evidence "cannot be discarded".