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EP security points to Farage group in 'Red Dalia' dispute

Met dank overgenomen van EUobserver (EUOBSERVER), gepubliceerd op vrijdag 16 januari 2015, 18:30.
Auteur: Zivile Kropaite

The distribution in the European Parliament of a controversial book accusing Lithuania's president Dalia Grybauskaite of having worked for Soviet Russia has been linked to the eurosceptic EFFD group led by British MEP Nigel Farage.

The group denies knowing anything about the contents or the circulation of the book - called “Red Dalia”.

But it said that if it’s proved that a member of staff distributed it without authorisation they will face “full disciplinary action”.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for EP president Martin Schultz says the parliament is waiting to see the group’s decision on what disciplinary measures might be taken.

Over 700 copies of the controversial book, which alleges that the president worked for Russia’s Soviet-era spy agency, were placed in MEPs’ pigeonholes.

Following a complaint by Liberal Lithuanian MEP Antanas Guoga, and a separate intellectual property complaint by the book’s author, Ruta Janutiene, who said she never gave anyone permission to translate it, the EP’s directorate-general for security has concluded that “Red Dalia” was distributed on 10 December by EFDD secretariat member Kevin Ellul Bonici.

The findings of the internal investigation were meant to be confidential, but were leaked to the media by Guoga.

The letter from the security directorate, addressed to EP president Schulz, says Bonici on the day in question “invited two guests into parliament, one Russian citizen, and one Polish citizen who was born in Moscow”.

The letter said the two men “helped to distribute the books”. It added that the services were unable to identify a fourth man who also helped.

Bonici, for his part, told this website that he denies "those media reports".

The story has also prompted a slanging match between Lithuanian deputies.

Guoga has given interviews saying he is concerned that someone wants to “tarnish Lithuania”.

He is blaming Lithuanian MEP and impeached ex-president Rolandas Paksas who, together with Lithuanian euro-deputy Valentinas Mazuronis, are from the Order and Justice party, which is a member of Farage‘s EFDD.

Guoga suggested that a recent visit by Farage to an Order and Justice party congress a few weeks ago was no coincidence.

In response to this claim, Paksas, in a live LRT radio broadcast, said Guoga had “lost his mind“ and encouraged him to “think about his family and children”.

Guoga understood this as direct threat to his family prompting Liberal group chief Guy Verhofstadt to send an email to Schultz asking him to take steps to “ensure the safety of Mr Guoga”.

For their part, EFDD leaders Farage and David Borrelii have rejected statements blaming the group, saying they are “false” and have asked for an apology.

Paksas and Mazuronis have also asked EFDD leaders, as well as the parliament president, to find out who distributed the book.

The book “Raudonoji Dalia” was published in 2013 and caused major controversy in the Baltic country, which gained its independence from the Soviet Union 25 years ago.

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