Doc. 10390

4 January 2005

Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB)

Written question No 461 to the Committee of Ministers

presented by Mr Henry

      In early 1994 the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), then known as the "Council of Europe Social Development Fund", decided to take legal action against its former Governor (who had resigned on 15 November 1993), accused of being behind a huge financial scandal involving, inter alia, the misappropriation of the Bank's staff pension fund. Following a recommendation by the Committee of Ministers in favour of suspending the former Governor and the staff involved in the alleged scandal, the CEB instituted further legal proceedings against the former Governor, in which he was accused of using illegal accounting practices in order to falsify the Bank's financial statements for 1992 and 1993.

      The Paris Tribunal de grande instance delivered its judgments in the two sets of proceedings against the former Governor on 4 July 2000; those judgments were upheld by the Paris Court of Appeal on 4 May 2001.

      The Paris Tribunal de grande instance found the former Governor not guilty not only of use of forged documents and fraudulent breach of trust regarding his management of the CEB, but also of the offence of having falsified accounting entries in the CEB's financial records for 1992 and 1993.

      In the light of the above,

      Mr Henry

      Asks the Committee of Ministers to inform him of its reaction to the judgments delivered by the Paris Tribunal de grande instance and of any action taken following those judgments. In particular, he would like to know whether the Committee of Ministers has ordered further inquiries concerning liability for the unlawful acts perpetrated within the CEB, especially regarding the presentation of the 1992 and 1993 financial statements.

Signed 1:

HENRY, Jean-Pol, Belgium, SOC

1        SOC: Socialist Group

      EPP/CD: Group of the European People’s Party

      LDR : Liberal, Democratic and Reformers’ Group

      EDG: European Democratic Group

      UEL: Group of the Unified European Left

      NR: not registered in a group