U.S. NGO Calls Upon GRECO to Monitor Malta’s Implementation of Whistleblower Law in Valery Atanasov Case

National Whistleblower Center warns that Malta Gaming Authority lawsuit threatens rule of law

WASHINGTON, D.C. | FEBRUARY 28, 2018—The National Whistleblower Center (NWC), in cooperation with the European Center for Whistleblower Rights, requested the Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO), and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Malta to take immediate action to ensure that the whistleblower, Mr. Valery Atanasov, is not subjected to retaliation in violation of the Council of Europe’s Civil Law on Corruption and the domestic Malta whistleblower law.

Mr. Atanasov blew the whistle on IT irregularities and lack of enforcement while working at the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), which he believed could allow for money laundering and other financial crimes. Since reporting his concerns, NWC has learned that Mr. Atanasov has been formally disciplined, suspended with a salary reduction, and fired from his job. Mr. Atanasov is now being sued by the MGA for defamation.

In the letter, NWC expresses its deep concern that Mr. Atanasov has suffered severe retaliation and has requested GRECO to officially monitor this case, and Malta’s implementation of mandatory whistleblower protections required under the Civil Law on Corruption.

Under Article 14 of the Council of Europe’s Civil Law on Corruption, GRECO has the responsibility to monitor Malta’s implementation of whistleblower laws and protections.

Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center, said: “Without strong oversight from GRECO, whistleblower laws in Europe will never be effective. GRECO must act to ensure that whistleblowers such as Mr. Atanasov are not subjected to any retaliation, and that the Civil Law on Corruption is not toothless.”

The National Whistleblower Center is a non-profit, non-partisan legal advocacy organization that seeks to strengthen whistleblower rights and protections. To learn more about the NWC please visit its website at www.whistleblowers.org. To learn more about the European Center for Whistleblower Rights, visit its website at www.whistleblower-rights.org.

To read the NWC letter to the GRECO Executive Secretary and to the Prime Minister of Malta, please click here.

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