Jose Sequeira, the Commission bureaucrat marched from his office two years ago after the Commission's own medical service said he was mentally unfit to work has been vindicated by an employment tribunal in Luxembourg, with the original decision against him overturned.
This story originally came to light in the FT back in September. Sequeira had raised allegations of corruption in the Jacques Santer-led Commission during the late 1990s. He was then accused of circulating a “defamatory dossier” by his superiors (the dossier was never produced), before being branded mentally unstable by a Commission-contracted psychiatrist. He was then placed on “indefinite sick leave” as a result. Three different doctors have since given him a clean bill of health.
Such cases of mental illness are curiously prevalent in Brussels. Out of the 200 Commission staff members placed on long term sick leave each year, half are prescribed as having mental illness, at a cost to EU taxpayers €74m a year.
Marta Andreassen, who was sacked by then-Commissioner Neil Kinnock in 2004 for blowing the whistle on its financial incompetence, claimed earlier this week that before her departure she had received internal emails which warned, "We have ways of breaking people like you.” Perhaps sometimes, but not in Mr Sequeira's case.